Thai / Bodhisattva Manjushri in the Form of Sita Manjughosa / Shrivijayan style, late 8th centuryThai
Bodhisattva Manjushri in the Form of Sita Manjughosa
Shrivijayan style, late 8th century

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Southeast Asian; Thai
Creator Name-CRT: Thai
Title: Bodhisattva Manjushri in the Form of Sita Manjughosa
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 767
Creation End Date: 799
Creation Date: Shrivijayan style, late 8th century
Creation Place: Thailand
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: Copper alloy
Dimensions: H. 12 1/4 in. (31.1 cm); W. 6 1/8 in. (15.6 cm) at base
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1979.082
Credit Line: Asia Society: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Context: This image of Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, belongs to the Shrivijayan tradition of sculpture, so named for the kingdom of Shrivijaya that, from its capital at Palembang in Sumatra, controlled large parts of southern Thailand. This seafaring kingdom may also have controlled other regions in Indonesia such as parts of Java. As a result, sculptures made under Shrivijayan rule exhibit a wide diversity in style, making them difficult to classify. Sculptures produced on the Thai/Malay Peninsula, such as this bodhisattva, are classified as either Thai, Chaiya, or Shrivijayan.

Manjushri is identified by the sword and book placed atop the lotus that he holds in his left hand. The gesture of bestowal or charity (varadamudra) further defines the figure as the Sita Manjughosa or "Gift-Bestowing" form of Manjushri. The tiny seated figures in the bodhisattva's headdress represent the five transcendent buddhas of the Esoteric pantheon, linking this sculpture with the practices of that branch of Buddhism. This figure wears a thin diadem and has jeweled and flowered hair, some of which falls in the long corkscrew-shaped curls often found in early Buddhist sculpture from peninsular Thailand, as are the oval face, fleshy cheeks, small features, and flexed posture. The bodhisattva sits in the posture of relaxation (lalitasana) on a lotus pedestal, which is placed on a two-tiered square base. Four pudgy lions with squat faces sit at the four corners of the base.

Related Document Description: Asia Society. Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. New York: Asia Society, [1981], p. 40.
Related Document Description: Huntington, Susan L., and John C. Huntington. Leaves from the Bodhi Tree: The Art of Pala India (8th-12th Centuries) and Its International Legacy. Dayton and Seattle: Dayton Art Institute and University of Washington Press, 1990, pp. 74-75.
Related Document Description: Kritdahon Thanphong, M. R. Pramuan phap pratima (A Collection of Sculptures). Bangkok, 1964, pl. 2.
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. 41, 44, 45.
Related Document Description: Lopez, Donald S., Jr., and Steven C. Rockefeller. Images of the Christ and the Bodhisattva. Middlebury, Vt.: Christian A. Johnson Memorial Gallery of Middlebury College, 1984, cat. no. 40.
Related Document Description: Woodward, Hiram W., Jr. 'History of Art: Accomplishments and Opportunities, Hopes and Fears.' In The Study of Thailand, ed. Eliezer B. Ayal. Athens: Ohio University Center for International Studies, Southeast Asia Program, 1978, p. 97, note 32.
Related Document Description: Woodward, Hiram W., Jr. 'Interrelations in a Group of South-East Asian Sculptures.' Apollo (November 1983), pp. 382-83.
AMICA ID: ASIA.1979.082
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, Asia Society

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