Standing Buddha and tabernacle

Standing equipoise over a plinth, the crowned Buddha raises both hands in abhayamudra, his ankle-length robe falling to the sides. He is enshrined within a flaming aureole with naga terminates, a bodhi tree overhead laced with serpentine vines. Cast in five parts: Buddha, base, plinth with frieze, backplate, Bodhi tree finial. With a green patina overall.

Historical period(s)
Lopburi period, 12th-13th century
Medium
Bronze
Style
Angkor Wat style
Dimensions
H x W x D (overall): 49 x 17.6 x 11.5 cm (19 5/16 x 6 15/16 x 4 1/2 in)
Geography
Thailand
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1976.11a-e
On View Location
Sackler Gallery 22: Encountering the Buddha
Classification(s)
Metalwork, Sculpture
Type

Buddhist sculpture

Keywords
abhaya mudra, bodhi tree, Buddha, Buddhism, casting, Lopburi period (900 - 1300), Thailand, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Description

Standing equipoise over a plinth, the crowned Buddha raises both hands in abhayamudra, his ankle-length robe falling to the sides. He is enshrined within a flaming aureole with naga terminates, a bodhi tree overhead laced with serpentine vines. Cast in five parts: Buddha, base, plinth with frieze, backplate, Bodhi tree finial. With a green patina overall.

Label

In Thailand, artists elongated the ideal Indian body to create languidly slim Buddhas, here emphasized by an equally attenuated shrine. Raising both hands in the "fear not" gesture, the Buddha stands beneath the bodhi (enlightenment) tree under which he first attained omniscience. Although most historical Buddhas are simply clad in monks' robes, this crowned and jeweled manifestation of the Buddha represents cosmic power. On a more worldly level, the adornment alludes to the Khmer emperors (of Cambodia and part of Thailand, ca. 9th-13th century), who promoted their identification with the Buddha and Hindu gods.

Published References
  • Paths to Perfection, Buddhist Art at the Freer/Sackler. Washington. pp. 54-55.
  • Julia Murray. A Decade of Discovery: Selected Acquisitions 1970-1980. Exh. cat. Washington, 1979. cat. 85, p. 110.
Collection Area(s)
Southeast Asian Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
F|S Southeast Asia
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