Buddha Shakyamuni

14th century

Rubin Museum of Art

Rubin Museum of Art
New York, United States

This sculpture of a buddha shows him with characteristic lotus wheel marks on his hands and feet, wearing monastic dress, and performing the gesture of touching the earth (653423388 bhumisparshamudra), a reference to his enlightenment. Such images are conventionally identified as representing Buddha Shakyamuni, the buddha of our age. However, the earrings of this sculpture hint towards a more transcendental form of buddhahood. The so-called bejeweled buddhas of Mahayana Buddhism refer to their enlightenment in the heaven realms, which preceded that on earth.


  • Title: Buddha Shakyamuni
  • Date Created: 14th century
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Rubin Museum of Art, C2006.24.1
  • Medium: Gilt copper alloy
  • Place of Creation: Northwestern Nepal
  • Exhibition History: Rubin Museum of Art, "Masterworks: Jewels of the Collection" (03/11/11 - 1/9/12), Rubin Museum of Art, "From the Land of the Gods: Art of the Kathmandu Valley" (03/14/08 - 02/07/11), Rubin Museum of Art, "Illumination: Photographs by Lynn Davis" (04/06/07 - 07/16/07), Rubin Museum of Art, "Building the Collection: Acquisitions 2005-2006" (10/13/06 - 02/09/07)

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