Vairochana Buddha

Historical period(s)
Liao dynasty, 907-1125
Bronze and gilt
H x W x D: 24.5 x 19 x 13 cm (9 5/8 x 7 1/2 x 5 1/8 in)
Credit Line
Gift of The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Sculpture

Buddhist sculpture

Buddha, Buddhism, casting, China, gilding, Liao dynasty (907 - 1125), ushnisha, Vairocana Buddha, vajra mudra, WWII-era provenance

To ?
S.H. Minkenhof Collection, Amsterdam and New York. [1]

To ?
Mr. and Mrs. Ivan B. Hart, New York. [2]

To 1978
Eskenazi Ltd., London, England. [3]

From 1978 to ?
Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987), New York, purchased from Eskenazi Ltd., London, England. [4]

From ? to 2006
The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, New York, gift of Arthur M. Sackler, New York. [5]

From 2006
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, New York. [6]


[1] See Curatorial Remark 4 in the object record. See also object file, Collections Management Office.

[2] See note 1.

[3] See note 1.

[4] See note 1.

[5] See Acquisition Consideration Form, object file, Collections Management Office.

[6] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

S. H. Minkenhof
Mr. and Mrs. Ivan B. Hart
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987
Eskenazi Ltd. Founded 1923
Arthur M. Sackler Foundation founded 1965


Images of the Buddha are usually gilded because one of the thirty-two characteristics that marked the Buddha at birth was skin that shone like gold. Chinese Buddists interpreted the golden color as an expression of the Buddha's sunlike spiritual radiance, his inner purity, and the inestimable worth of his teachings.

Published References
  • Woon Wee Teng. The Hidden Treasures of Nanzhao and Dali Kingdoms, with other artifacts from Yunnan. .
  • Sherman Lee, Wai-Kam Ho. Chinese Art Under the Mongols: The Yuan Dynasty, 1279-1368. Exh. cat. Cleveland. cat. 12, Sculpture section no. 12.
  • Hugo Munsterberg. Chinese Buddhist Bronzes., 1st ed. Tokyo and Rutland, Vermont. pp. 28-29, pl. 14.
  • S. H. Minkenhof. Ancient Chinese Bronze Vessels, Gilt Bronzes, and Sculptures: Two Private Collections, One Formerly Part of the Minkenhof Collection. Exh. cat. London. cat. 28, pp. 42-43.
  • Joan Hartman-Goldsmith. Yuan Art at the Cleveland Museum., Authumn 1969. p. 217, fig. 1.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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