North Indian / Buddha / Gupta period, late 5th-early 6th centuryNorth Indian
Gupta period, late 5th-early 6th century

View Larger Image

View Full Catalog Record Below

This image is one of over 108,000 from the AMICA Library (formerly The Art Museum Image Consortium Library- The AMICO Library™), a growing online collection of high-quality, digital art images from over 20 museums around the world. offers subscriptions to this collection, the finest art image database available on the internet. EVERY image has full curatorial text and can be studied in depth by zooming into the smallest details from within the Image Workspace.
Preview the AMICA Library™ Public Collection in Luna Browser Now

  • Cultures and time periods represented range from contemporary art, to ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian works.
  • Types of works include paintings, drawings, watercolors, sculptures, costumes, jewelry, furniture, prints, photographs, textiles, decorative art, books and manuscripts.

Gain access to this incredible resource through either a monthly or a yearly subscription and search the entire collection from your desktop, compare multiple images side by side and zoom into the minute details of the images. Visit for more information on the collection, click on the link below the revolving thumbnail to the right, or email us at .

Creator Nationality: Asian; Indian Sub-Continent; Indian
Creator Dates/Places: North Indian
Creator Active Place: North Indian
Creator Name-CRT: North Indian
Title: Buddha
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 466
Creation End Date: 533
Creation Date: Gupta period, late 5th-early 6th century
Creation Place: India
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: Copper alloy
Dimensions: H. 14 1/8 in. (35.9 cm)
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1979.007
Credit Line: Asia Society: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Context: This seated Buddha holds his hands in the preaching gesture (dharmachakramudra). His broad shoulders, full torso, and clinging drapery continue stylistic traditions found in the city of Sarnath during the imperial Gupta period (c. 319-c. 500). On the other hand, the proportions of the face and physique are more elongated than is common in Buddhas from Sarnath and other sites in Uttar Pradesh. This is most evident in his folded legs, which are noticeably long in proportion to his torso. A similar subtle elongation is found at sites such as Bhitargaon and in northeast India, making it difficult to suggest a provenance for this piece.

The bump, or ushnisha, on top of the Buddha's head signifies his advanced spiritual state and great knowledge. The elongated earlobes refer to his early life as a prince, when he wore heavy earrings, which remind the faithful that they, too, should reject worldly goods and pleasures. The downcast eyes symbolize the Buddha's understanding and mastery of meditation. The hair is cropped short and shaped like snail shells. All of these are typical features of buddha images. The U-shaped fixture on the back of this Buddha's head was used to attach a large body-halo to the sculpture.

A consecratory inscription carved on the pedestal is often found on Indian sculpture; this creed loosely translates as, "All those phenomena which are born of causes, Tathagata [that is, Buddha] spoke indeed of all those causes, and their cessation (was also preached by him)." This sculpture has been dated on the basis of the paleography of this inscription. It is written in the northern Indian Brahmi script, which was commonly used in the late 5th and early 6th century.

Related Document Description: Asia Society. Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. New York: Asia Society, [1981], p. 9.
Related Document Description: Lee, Sherman E. Asian Art: Selections from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd. New York: Asia Society, 1970, pp. 14, 30.
Related Document Description: Pal, Pratapaditya. The Ideal Image: The Gupta Sculptural Tradition and Its Influence. New York: Asia Society in association with John Weatherhill, 1978, p. 71.
Related Document Description: Schroeder, Ulrich von. Indo-Tibetan Bronzes. Hong Kong: Visual Dharma, 1981, pp. 204, 208, 212-13.
Related Document Description: Young, Mahonri Sharp. 'Treasures of the Orient: A Rockefeller Collection.' Apollo (November 1970), pp. 329-39.
AMICA ID: ASIA.1979.007
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, Asia Society

AMICA PUBLIC RIGHTS: a) Access to the materials is granted for personal and non-commercial use. b) A full educational license for non-commercial use is available from Cartography Associates at c) Licensed users may continue their examination of additional materials provided by Cartography Associates, and d) commercial rights are available from the rights holder.

Home | Subscribe | Preview | Benefits | About | Help | Contact
Copyright © 2007 Cartography Associates.
All rights reserved.