Buddha, seated in the padmasana pose, in dhyana mudra, with mandorla

Accession Number

Buddha, seated in the padmasana pose, in dhyana mudra, with mandorla


Artist Nationality
Chinese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
gilt bronze

2 11/16 in. x 1 7/16 in. x 1 in. ( 6.8 cm x 3.6 cm x 2.6 cm )

Credit Line
Museum purchase for the James Marshall Plumer Memorial Collection

Label copy
March 28 2009
Buddhism reached China more than two thousand years ago, but it was several centuries before it flourished and during this period it remained largely a foreign religion practiced in émigré communities. Both of these sculptures are immediately recognizable as Buddhas yet their styles are very different. The smaller and older Buddha on the right has more foreign elements that have not yet been assimilated into a wholly Chinese style. These Indian and Central Asian characteristics include the pedestal he is seated on, the folds in his robe, and the incised flames in the body halo surrounding him, which represent the fiery radiance he emanates. The larger Buddha on the right illustrates a later style, that of China’s cosmopolitan Tang Dynasty. It has a fuller figure, artfully draped robes, and a plump, rounded face with arched eyebrows. The small size of both images suggests that they were personal objects of devotion.
(Label for UMMA Buddhist Gallery Opening Rotation, March 2009)

Subject matter
The Buddha, seated in meditation on a dais which represents the cosmic axis, Mt. Meru, and backed by a mandorla incised with flames.

Physical Description
Small gilt bronze seated Buddha with Indian and Central Asian characteristics, including the pedestal he is seated on, folds of his robe, and the incised flames in the body halo encompassing him.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Additional Object Classification(s)
Ritual Object

Collection Area

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Buddhas (visual works)
halos (glories)
miniature (size attribute)

2 Related Resources

Before 1492
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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