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Statue

Object Number:
C405A
Current Location:
Culture:
Chinese
Provenience:
China
Period:
Yuan Dynasty
Date Made:
Yuan Dynasty
Early Date:
1279
Late Date:
1368
Section:
Asian
Materials:
Wood
Technique:
Dry Lacquer
Gilded
Iconography:
Sakyamuni Buddha
Description:
Seated figure of Shakyamuni Buddha in meditation with chin leaning on hands which are joined over the raised left knee. The other leg is bent horizontally in front of the figure. Shakyamuni is the honorific name for Siddhartha Gautama (563 - 483 BCE), also known as the historical Buddha. The Buddha's unusual smile offsets his austere demeanor. Crafted during the period of Mongolian rule in China, the facial features suggest connections with Nepalese Buddhism.

The use of dry lacquer was a time consuming process during which layers of clay, paper, lacquer, and cloth were applied to the figure. The drapery, with its free-flowing folds is uncommon for the time; it shows the natural folds of the cloth that was laid on the figure during the process. At one time, five woodblock printed, illustrated sutras were inside the hollow figure. Perfumed ashes were also foundm which would have helped to protect the lacquer from worms.

Manuscripts were found placed inside the statue (See C405 B-H).
Credit Line:
Purchased from C. T. Loo

Current & Past Exhibitions:

Chinese Rotunda (1968)
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Chinese Halls (1941 - 1966)
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Bibliography:

[Article] Steinhardt, Nancy S. 2008. "The Chinese Rotunda". Arts of Asia. 38 (5): 83-95. : Page/Fig./Plate: Pg. 91, Fig. 24
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[Article] Slusser, Mary S. 1996. "The Art of East Asian Lacquer Sculpture". Orientations. 27 (1): 27-28. : Page/Fig./Plate: 27-28, Fig 22
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[Catalogue] Lee, Sherman E. & Ho, Wai-kam. 1968. Chinese Art Under the Mongols: The Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368). : Page/Fig./Plate: Plate 19
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[Article] Jayne, Horace H. F. 1941. The Chinese Collections of The University Museum: A Handbook of the Principal Objects. The University Museum Bulletin. 9 (2-3) : Page/Fig./Plate: Fig. 16, 20-21
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[Catalogue] Royal Academy of Arts. 1935. Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Chinese Art. : Page/Fig./Plate: Pg. 48, No. 640; Pg. 61, 640 (illustration)
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[Article] Jayne, Horace H. F. 1935. The Museum's Loan to Burlington House ( for International Exhibition of Chinese Art held in London 1935-36). The University Museum Bulletin. 6 (1) : Page/Fig./Plate: 17-21, Plate 6
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[Article] Fernald, Helen E. 1927. A Chinese Buddhistic Statue in Dry Lacquer. The Museum Journal. Volume XVIII (No. 3): 284-294. : Page/Fig./Plate: 284-294
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[Book] Siren, Osvald. 1925. Chinese sculpture from the fifth to the fourteenth century; over 900 specimens in stone, bronze, lacquer and wood, principally from northern China. : Page/Fig./Plate: Plate 620
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[Article] 1924. Chinese Sculpture. The Museum Journal. Volume XV (No. 4): 258-287. : Page/Fig./Plate: pg. 260, Plate V
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