The Buddha calling the earth to witness

Historical period(s)
Bangkok period, Lan Sang period, or post-Angkor period, 19th century
H x W x D: 16.5 x 8.4 x 5.2 cm (6 1/2 x 3 5/16 x 2 1/16 in)
Thailand, Laos, or Cambodia
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Buddhist sculpture

Bangkok period (1782 - ), bhumisparsha mudra, Buddha, Buddhism, Cambodia, Lan Sang period (1271 - 1707), Laos, Post-Angkor period (1431 - 1863), Thailand
Provenance research underway.

Six small ivory Buddhas were among the very first Southeast Asian objects that Charles Lang Freer collected. He purchased them in 1909 as a group at an auction of Southeast Asian art in New York.

Seated with folded legs and hands in the earth-touching gesture of enlightenment (bhumisparsha mudra), the six Buddhas are relatively uniform in size and shape and were likely carved at the same time. They represent the moment when the historical Buddha calls the earth to witness as he achieves enlightenment. They may have been made in Laos, Thailand, or Cambodia. Their small scale and light material would have enabled them to be transported, and their find spot--purportedly in the vicinity of Angkor Wat--likely does not match their site of production.

Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
F|S Southeast Asia
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