Medium and Support:
Wood,with trace of color and gold pigments
Bequest of Elsie S. Kimberly
8 5/16 in. x 7 1/8 in. x 4 5/8 in. (21.11 cm x 18.1 cm x 11.75 cm)
Currently on view
This figure of a bodhisattva wears princely garments and sits in what is called the “posture of royal ease.” Bodhisattvas are depicted as royal figures in reference to their advanced spiritual attainments, which are just one stage away from complete enlightenment. This parallels the life of the Buddha, who founded the Buddhist religion in the 5th century BCE, who was a prince before he renounced society to become a mendicant teacher.
This piece once housed relics and precious objects within its back, which indicates that it was once a sacred object. Its small size suggests that it was set up in a domestic shrine.
Last Updated: 5/21/2012