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Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Sculpture from Nepal
Sculpture from Kashmir
Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Sculpture from Tibet
Buddha Shakyamuni
Kashmir or northern Pakistan; 8th - 9th century
H. 3 7/8 in. (9.8 cm); W. 2 7/8 in. (7.3 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
Meditation played an important part in key events of Buddha Shakyamuni's life. This intimate representation of the Buddha meditating shows him surrounded by eight small figures, five of whom wear straps around their legs to help them hold certain meditation postures. Holding a pose and regulating the breath are part of the ancient practice of yoga, a path leading to salvation through mind and body control. Buddhas are often depicted in a yogic posture of meditation: their legs crossed in the lotus position, chest expanded with indrawn breath, back and neck aligned, belly relaxed, and eyes downcast. Traces of color on ivories such as this one, indicate that they were once painted and gilded. Small remnants of pink and orange paint are visible in the Buddha's robe and in other crevices.
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