Seated Shakyamuni Buddha Stele

c. 1850
$15,800 USD
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W: 24.5" D: 12.5" H: 40.75"
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This carved stone stele depicts the historical Buddha, known also as Shaka, Shakyamuni, or Siddhartha Gautama. Seated in perpetual meditation, the Buddha embodies virtues of wisdom and composure. Hand-carved of limestone in the style of Northern Wei (386-535) statuary, the Buddha is depicted upon a lotus plinth with legs crossed in lotus position. His hands are held downwards in bhumisparsha mudra, a gesture representing the moment that the Buddha claimed the earth as witness to his awakening.

The Buddha has a peaceful, benevolent expression and is framed by a halo of concentric circles. His figure is surrounded by attendant bodhisattvas, carved in relief on the curved stele behind and platform below. Leafy tree branches add a naturalistic touch to the background, wrapping around to the back of the stele to form a canopy above a second, smaller Buddha figure.

Deaccessioned from the MacLean Collection of Asian Art.

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