An image of Buddha calling the earth to witness

Unknown Artist

Buddha calling the earth to witness

Other titles:
Figure of Buddha, Buddha on the lion throne
Location
Upper Asian gallery
Further information

Early Buddhist images from Burma have distinctive stylistic qualities that distinguish them from their South-east Asian counterparts. The broad forehead, slightly Mongoloid eyes, tapering face and high 'ushnisha' - the cranial bump that symbolises the Buddha's wisdom - are all distinctively Burmese features. In Burmese Buddhism, which followed the Theravada path, the dominant figure is Akshobhya, represented here. In this characteristic pose the Buddha is seated with feet upturned, bearing wheel marks on his soles. A button-like protuberance on his forehead resembles the 'urna'. The left hand rests face up on the lap in the meditation 'mudra'; the right hangs with the tips of the outstretched fingers touching the ground in the 'bhumispara mudra'. With this gesture the Buddha invokes the earth to witness his resistance of the temptations of the spirit of evil, Mara.

Art Gallery Handbook, 1999. pg. 299.

Place of origin
Myanmar
Year
late 12th century
Media
Sculpture
Medium
brass and copper
Dimensions
12.0 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Credit
Purchased 1997
Accession number
83.1997