Buddha, standing, in vitarka mudra

Accession Number

Buddha, standing, in vitarka mudra


Artist Nationality
Chinese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
7th century

Medium & Support
gilt bronze

5 13/16 in. x 1 9/16 in. x 1 9/16 in. ( 14.7 cm x 3.9 cm x 3.9 cm )

Credit Line
Museum purchase for the James Marshall Plumer Memorial Collection

Label copy
Amitabha's "mudra", or hand gestures, are coded messages to each of the "nine degrees" of a believer's soul born in Western Paradise. Based on the degree of faith , a soul delegated to one of the three levels, each with three sectors. With upraised right hand and outward left hand, thumb and middle fingers touching, the hands of this figure indicate a welcome to those born into the lowest sector of the middle level. In comparison to the fullness of T'ang figures, this Five Dynasties figure elongated.

Subject matter
Buddha, standing on a lotus pedestal, in the gesture of teaching.

Physical Description
A small, solid gilt bronze image of the Budddha, shown standing in a slighly swayback pose with both right and left hands in vitarka mudra, the gesture ot teaching. His robe is draped over both shoulders and falls in large, symmentrical V-shaped folds in shallow relief over his torso. His head is small, with the canonical snail-shell curls suggested by tiny knobs of bronze. He has full cheeks, a well-defined mouth, and incised slits for his eyes. There are two incised rings at his neck (instead of the canonical three). He stands on a pedestal of upward, double-petal lotus petals, raised on a hollow base. Some turquoise patina is visible on tthe base and head.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Additional Object Classification(s)
Ritual Object

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Buddhas (visual works)
lotus (motif)
miniature (size attribute)

2 Related Resources

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

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted