The Buddhas Prabhutaratna and Sakyamuni seated sided by side

Historical period(s)
Sui dynasty, dated 609
Gilt bronze
H x W x D: 21.8 x 14.1 x 5.5 cm (8 9/16 x 5 9/16 x 2 3/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
On View Location
Sackler Gallery 22: Encountering the Buddha
Metalwork, Sculpture

Buddhist sculpture

abhaya mudra, Buddhism, casting, China, gilding, Prabhutaratna Buddha, Sui dynasty (581 - 618), varada mudra, WWII-era provenance

From at least 1938
Mrs. Christian R. Holmes (1871-1941), New York and "The Chimneys," Sands Point, Port Washington, Long Island, from at least October 1938. [1]

From at least 1944 to 1945
Tonying and Company, New York from at least March 8, 1944. [2]

From 1945
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Tonying and Company, New York on May 24, 1945. [3]


[1] Mrs. Holmes lent the sculpture to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1938, see Chinese Bronzes of the Shang (1766-1122 B. C.) through the T’ang Dynasty (A.D. 618-906) (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 19-November 27, 1938), cat. 275. See also A. G. Wenley’s letter to C. F. Yau, Tonying and Co., dated May 22, 1945, copy in object file, in which Wenley confirms acquisition of the sculpture and states that it came from Mrs. Christian R. Holmes’s collection.

[2] See “List of Objects Contemplated for Purchase by the Freer Gallery of Art,” approved by the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution on March 8, 1944, copy in object file.

[3] See Tonying & Company’s invoice, dated May 24, 1945, in which the object figures under no. B. 58: “Gilt bronze Shrine / Six Dynasties,” copy in object file.

Previous Owner(s)

Tonying and Company
Mrs. Christian R. Holmes 1871 - 1941

Published References
  • Donald S. Lopez Jr Jacqueline I. Stone. Two Buddhas Seated Side by Side: A Guide to the Lotus Sūtra. Cover.
  • Hugo Munsterberg. Chinese Buddhist Bronzes., 1st ed. Tokyo and Rutland, VT. pl. 35.
  • Donald S. Lopez Jr Rebecca Bloom. Hyecho's Journey: The World of Buddhism. Chicago, IL, December 2017. p. 113, fig. 10.
  • Arthur Pontynen. Philosophia perennis ars orientalis: A Buddhist-Taoist Icon in the Freer Gallery of Art. vol. 28, no. 4, Winter 1982-1982. pp. 359-367, figs. 1, 2.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage conditions apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.