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Buddha, seated in the ardha padmasana pose, in bhumisparsa mudra (Chieng Sen style)

Accession Number
1993/2.48

Title
Buddha, seated in the ardha padmasana pose, in bhumisparsa mudra (Chieng Sen style)

Artist(s)
Thai

Object Creation Date
1500-1599

Medium & Support
bronze

Dimensions
15.9 x 12 3/16 x 6 15/16 in. (40.5 x 30.9 x 17.5 cm);14 5/8 x 11 1/4 x 6 3/4 in. (37 x 28.5 x 17 cm);15.9 x 12 3/16 x 6 15/16 in. (40.5 x 30.9 x 17.5 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of John Adams Thierry in memory of Louis Sidney Thierry

Label copy
March 28 2009
This sculpture depicts the Buddha performing the earth-touching gesture (maravijaya mudra), which refers to the moment when he subdued Mara, the god of death and desire, and called the earth to witness his right to achieve enlightenment. This moment is the subject of virtually every primary image in the monasteries of Thailand. The Buddha’s elongated earlobes refer to his early life as a prince, when he wore heavy earrings. When he left his father’s palace and renounced material possessions, he cut off his long hair and removed all his jewelry. The holes left by his earrings remind the faithful that they, too, should reject worldly goods and pleasures.
Texts that describe how a Buddha’s face should look often use comparisons to natural forms such as “eyes like lotus petals,” “eyebrows like an archer’s bow,” and “a chin like a mango stone.” The artist who created this sculpture clearly followed similar descriptions.
(Label for UMMA Buddhist Gallery Opening Rotation, March 2009)

Subject matter
The Buddha in bhumisparsa mudra (the gesture of touching the earth with his right hand, palm inward), signaling his victory over Mara. In Southeast Asian contexts, this hand gesture is often referred to as Maravijaya mudra, or "victory over Mara."

Physical Description
The Buddha in bhumisparsa mudra (the gesture of touching the earth with his right hand, palm inward), signaling his victory over Mara. In Southeast Asian contexts, this hand gesture is often referred to as Maravijaya mudra, or "victory over Mara." The Buddha’s elongated earlobes refer to his early life as a prince, when he wore heavy earrings. Texts that describe how a Buddha’s face should look often use comparisons to natural forms such as eyes like lotus petals, eyebrows like an archer’s bow, and a chin like a mango stone. The artist who created this sculpture clearly followed similar instructions.

Primary Object Classification
Sculpture

Primary Object Type
statue

Additional Object Classification(s)
Metalwork

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
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.

Keywords
Buddhas (visual works)
Buddhism
icons (devotional images)
lotus (motif)
sitting

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted