Exhibition Highlight - 1

Seated Buddha

Seated Buddha pic

Seated Buddha
Xiangtangshan: Northern Group of Caves, attributed to North Cave, perimeter wall niches, 550-559 ce.

Limestone freestanding sculpture with traces of pigment and lacquer,
37 3/8 x 29 1/2 x 13 1/16 in. (95 x 75 x 33.2 cm).Victoria and Albert Museum, Presented Through the National Art Collections Fund by a Body of Donors (A4 -1924).
Photo: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The Buddha sits in lotus position, or padmasasana, with his right hand raised in abhayamudra (indicating fearlessness and protection) and the left pointing downward in varadamudra (the gesture of benevolence or charity). In the perfectly preserved halo, most of the flowers are in the bud stage, but at the top a large, open lotus flower supports a radiant jewel enclosed within an aureole. The folds of the robe fall over the body in double incised grooves, a convention in Northern Qi art, and drape over the seat in carefully rendered pleats with a wavy hemline. Despite the fact that this seated sculpture was made to be displayed in a deep niche, the features and details are delicately carved, including some on the back.