Standing Buddha

Korea, 8th-9th century T.H. 18.2 cm Gilt bronze
This small Buddha statue appears with his elbows bent and his right and left hands respectively in the gestures of fearlessness (Skt., abhaya mudra; J., semui-in) and wish granting (Skt., varada mudra; J., yogan-in). His thin slanted eyes, small terse mouth, firm hips extending to his voluminous thighs, and strong curved physique are characteristics of this type of gilt bronze Buddhist statuary from the Unified Silla dynasty (668-935). Another feature of such images is the three large casting holes behind the head, back, and waist, used in the technique to hollow out and cast the statue as thinly as possible. The stand is composed of a lotus dais, an inverted lotus, and a decorative octagonal openwork base. Although the round flowers on each petal of the lotus dais are extremely rare on this type of Silla sculpture found in Japan, this small but exemplary Korean Buddha and his elegant stand greatly influenced Japanese Buddhist statues from the Hakuho (645-710) and Tenpyo(710-794) periods.

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