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Buddha on lotus-shaped pedestal

approx. 700-800, Unified Silla dynasty (668-935)

Asian Art Museum

Asian Art Museum
San Francisco, United States

This standing Buddha has the round face, broad shoulders, and full body inspired by the Tang international style prevalent in East Asia during the eighth century. The disproportionately large head, stern facial expression, and wave-pattern drapery folds over the legs are characteristic of eighth-century Korean Buddhist images. Two prominent knobs on the upper and lower back indicate that this figure was originally equipped with a body halo (singwang; Sanskrit: mandorla). Both hands appear to have been damaged slightly by fire.

This image probably represents the Amita (Sanskrit: Amitabha), the Buddha of Eternal Life, who held the most exalted position in Korean Buddhism during this period. Many small gold and gilded bronze Buddhist images have been discovered in Silla temple sites and pagodas, indicating that such images were pervasive during the Unified Silla dynasty. While large figures of this type were placed in important halls of major monasteries, small ones were used for private worship or as votive images.

Details

  • Title: Buddha on lotus-shaped pedestal
  • Date Created: approx. 700-800, Unified Silla dynasty (668-935)
  • Location Created: Korea
  • Physical Dimensions: H. 47.3 cm x W. 32.8 cm x D. 18.4 cm
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Medium: Gilded bronze
  • Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection, B65B64

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