About this object

History of use

An object of worship in a temple, shrine, or monastery. It may have a prayer inserted in base. The figure represents one of many deities in the pantheon of lamaistic Buddhism, possibly Kamalosnisa (Buddha), Amitabha (bodhisattva), Candroprabha (bodhisattva), Bhodrappa (Bodhistattva), Vairocanabhisambodhi (Buddha), Locanaprabha (bodhisattva), Amitayus (Buddha), Niklakantha-isvara Avalokitesvara (bodhisattva), or Dvibhuja-dharmadhatwagesvara (Buddha).

Cultural context


Iconographic meaning

Bodhisattva is an attendant of Buddha who has attained nirvana but has chosen instead to remain among the living and spread wisdom. The hand position indicates the dayana meditation mudra. The figure is seated in padmasana or full lotus position.

Physical description

Hollow sheet bronze figure, filled with clay(?), base closed with sheet of same metal fastened with tabs and sealed clay. Male figure is seated cross-legged on double lotus base, hands in lap, palms up, right hand over left with thumbs touching; smiling with eyes open. Yellow-brown patina; face, feet hands and elaborate headdress are gilded. Headdress, earrings and draperies are from separate pieces of bronze stapled to figure. Back of headdress is painted red and blue; red and green paint in circles represent jewels. One drapery is detached; headdress is bent.