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Creator Nationality: Asian; Southeast Asian; Thai
Creator Name-CRT: Thai
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 700
Creation End Date: 799
Creation Date: Shrivijayan style, 8th century
Creation Place: Thailand
Object Type: Sculpture
Classification Term: Bronzes
Materials and Techniques: Copper alloy with traces of gilding and pigment
Dimensions: H. 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm)
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1994.005
Credit Line: Asia Society: Gift from the Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund
Context: This unidentified bodhisattva 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.
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. The pedestal is strikingly similar to a type foundon images from an area of Bangladesh that was controlled by the Pala kingdom. It is known that Buddhist missionaries from the Pala kingdom passed through Shrivijaya on their way to China.
Four pudgy lions with squat faces sit at the four corners ofthe base. A hole at the back of the pedestal indicates that a mandorla might once have been attached to the bodhisattva's back, possibly capped by a parasol as seen in similar figures.
AMICA ID: ASIA.1994.005
AMICA Library Year: 1999
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright, Asia Society
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