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Jonathan Tucker Antonia Tozer Asian Art

Wooden seated Buddha
Burma
15th-16th c.; Post-Pagan period
Carved wood
89 CMS, 35 INS.

A large wood figure of Buddha, seated upon a double lotus pedestal with his right hand lowered in bhumisparsimudra (the gesture of summoning the earth to witness) and his left resting in his lap; the face stately but benign beneath an usnisha tapering to a flame finial; a rectangular opening on the back of the pedestal perhaps made for the concealment of relics.

Age determined by University of Arizona Radiocarbon-14 test as 1448 - 1632 AD (95% certainty).

This Buddha is very much in the Pagan style but the radiocarbon test reveals that it was made several centuries later. There are a number of examples of later images with a lingering Pagan influence; the figures tend to me more slender and somewhat ‘elongated’. For a later example in bronze in the British Museum, see fig. 10, page 62 in Donald Stadtner (ed.), The Art of Burma: New Studies, Mumbai: Marg Publications, 1999. For a second example in the Pagan Museum see fig. 285 in M. Girard-Geslan et al, Art of Southeast Asia, New York: Harry N. Abrams Inc, 1998.

all text & images Jonathan Tucker Antonia Tozer Asian Art

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