Asia Society Home Asia Society Home
< previous  4 of 5  next >
enlarge image map of region
related objects additional views
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
Tibet; 11th century
Copper alloy with copper overlay and inlays of silver
H. 5 5/8 in. (14.3 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
This sculpture depicts Shakyamuni Buddha performing the earth-touching gesture (bhumisparsha mudra). This gesture refers to the moment when the Buddha-to-be called the earth to witness his right to achieve enlightenment. The small female figure holding a vase beneath Shakyamuni represents the earth goddess whom he invoked. The Buddha sits on an elaborately patterned cushion decorated with the face of a lion. The distinctive use of two colors of metal in this piece may reflect a practice recorded in the writings of the Tibetan scholar and teacher Padma Dkarpol (1524-1592) who described a type of image which was made of both "white brass" and "red brass." In this case, the "white brass" refers to the yellowish areas of the Buddha's body and throne, while the "red brass" refers to the copper that comprises the Buddha's robe.
Home |  South Asia |  Himalaya |  Southeast Asia |  China & Mongolia |  Korea |  Japan
Treasures |  Guided Tour |  Timeline |  Search
About the Asia Society | The Rockefellers and the Asia Society | Site Map
Credits | ©Copyright 2007 Asia Society