Carved from twelve joined pieces of wood, covered with five layers of lacquer, and then painted, this sculpture is the oldest, known surviving Chinese example of its type. In the branch of Buddhism known as the Great Vehicle, the historical Buddha Sakyamuni is one among many Enlightened Ones: Buddhas enlightened in other realms preside over paradises or stand for abstract concepts. This sculpture probably depicts Amitabha, the cosmic Buddha who presides over the Western Paradise - a place where Buddhists of the period hoped to be reborn.


  • Title: Buddha
  • Date Created: ca. 590
  • Physical Dimensions: w71.8 x h105.4 x d55.1 cm
  • Type: sculptures
  • Rights: Acquired by Henry Walters, 1920, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
  • External Link: The Walters Art Museum
  • Medium: wood with painted lacquer
  • Provenance: Yamanaka & Co., New York; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1920, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
  • Place of Origin: China
  • Artist: Chinese

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