Shakyamuni (possibly Akshobhya) Buddha

Historical period(s)
13th century
Copper alloy with copper and silver inlay, traces of pigments
H x W x D: 38.5 × 26 × 17.6 cm (15 3/16 × 10 1/4 × 6 15/16 in)
Tibet, Western, Guge
Credit Line
The Alice S. Kandell Collection
Alice S. Kandell Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Sackler Gallery 22: Encountering the Buddha
Metalwork, Sculpture


Akshobhya Buddha, Alice S. Kandell Collection, Buddhism, devotional figure, Shakyamuni Buddha, Tibet
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Alice S. Kandell


The historical Buddha Shakyamuni (sage of the Lion Clan) lived and taught in northern India from approximately 480 – 400 BCE. Seated Shakyamuni images are characteristically represented with the left hand holding a begging bowl and the right hand lowered in the earth-touching gesture that signifies the moment of enlightenment.
With its subtle musculature and alertly lifted head, this seated Buddha Shakyamuni is a refined example of western Tibetan sculpture from the thirteenth century. Among its noteworthy qualities are an overall energy that results from the sculpture’s fluid linearity and crisp carving, the sophistication of its ornamental designs, and the balance and liveliness of the of the double-lotus pedestal.
The Buddha’s fingernails and the hems of his garment, the leaves on the patterned textile cloth draping over the front of the pedestal, and the pedestal band (framed by tows of tiny beads) are inlaid with copper.

Published References
  • Marylin M. Rhie Robert A.F. Thurman. A Shrine for Tibet: The Alice S. Kandell Collection. New York and London. I-7a, b, 63.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Whistler's Neighborhood
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum