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Image of Seated Buddha

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Seated Buddha

618 - 907
Bronze with gilding

3 1/2 in. x 1 3/8 in. x 1 in. (8.89 cm x 3.49 cm x 2.54 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: TN.39
Geography: Asia, China
Classification: Fine and Visual Arts; Sculptures
Culture/Nationality: Chinese
Collection: Helen B. Chapin '15 Collection

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword
This object has the following keywords:
  • abhayamudrā - Hand gesture indicating divine protection, approachability, and dispelling of fear. The right hand is represented palm outward, raised to shoulder height, with the fingers upward. The gesture is ancient, probably originally demonstrating that the hand is empty of weapons and indicating peace. In Buddhism it represents the absence of fear of death. In Indian art, a hand gesture of assurance or protection.
  • Asian - Refers to the cultures of the continent of Asia, which is in the eastern hemisphere, and is bounded by the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Arctic Ocean, and is generally considered to be delimited on the west by the Ural Mountains. It also refers to the numerous islands off the coast of Asia.
  • bhumisparsa mudra - Hand gesture indicating touching the earth; used for seated figures, usually the Sakyamuni Buddha in his victory of Mara. The right hand, palm inward and extending downward, touches or gestures in the direction of the earth.
  • bronzes - Collectively, the class of sculptures, containers, or other objects executed in bronze, especially artifacts or works considered to be art. When possible, use the material term "bronze (metal)" plus a more specific object name, such as "bronze" + "figurines" or "bronze" + "bowl."
  • Buddhas
  • Buddhas - Representations in any medium of Gautama Buddha.
  • Buddhism
  • Buddhism - Refers to the philosophy and religion based on the enlightenment and teachings of the Buddha Gautama in the early sixth century BCE in the northeastern region of modern India. Playing dominant roles in the art and culture of Southeast Asia and East Asia, this religion is based on the transcendence of human suffering and pain through the acceptance of the limitations of individuality, the surrender of worldly desires and cravings that cause disappointment and sorrow, and the deliverance from the impermanence of living and individual ego based on wealth, social position, or family through the process of enlightenment (nirvana). The religion also centers around 'anatman', or no-self, the idea that the self is in a state of action or a series of changing manifestations rather than in a state of fixed, metaphysical substance. The structure of the religion is based on the Triratna ("Three Jewels" of Buddha), a tripartite schematic for living based on three elements: Buddha (the teacher), dharma (the teaching), and sangha (community).
  • Chinese - The cultures, styles, and periods characteristic of China. To specifically refer to the cultures of ancient Chine, use "Ancient Chinese."
  • Gautama Buddha - Sources:
    - Chung-kuo fo chi hsieh hui: Shih-chia-mou-ni fo hsian chi, 1956.
    - Shih-chia Ju-lai ying hua shih chi, 1981?:
    - Santisuk Sōphonsiri. Phraphutthačhao khō̜ng chan, 1984.
    - Ha, Y.S. Inʼgan Yesu wa Pultʻa (Putta), 1984:
    - Budda, 1995.
    - Siddhartha Gotama of the Sakya clan, 1996:
    - Ston pa Śākya-thup-paʼi rnam thar, 1996:
    - Philosophy of the compassionate Buddha, c2003:
    - Siduhat Kumāraya, 2004:
    - SILAS, July 13, 2006
    - Landaw, Jonathan. Cuộc đời Đức Phật, 1994:
    - Ancient History Encyclopedia, viewed online 26 Sept. 2019
    - History of Siddhartha Gotama Buddha (Thai), 2016:
    - Lalitavistara, unravelling the reliefs of Buddha Gotama's life, 2016:
  • gilding - Process involving the surface application of gold or another metal in the form of leaf, powder applied directly to the surface, powder mixed with a binder, electroplating, or other forms to approximate the effect of solid or inlaid metal.
  • inscriptions - Words, texts, lettering, or symbols marked on a work, including texts, legends, documentation notes, or commemoration. For standardized symbols or notations on objects that convey official information, use "marks (symbols)."
  • lotus - Either of two motifs that are both based on types of waterlily, one originating in ancient Egypt and the other in India. Within Egyptian lotus motifs, two varieties occur from the beginning of the Dynastic period ca. 3000 BCE: If the flower-head has a curved outline, it is based on the white-flowered species Nymphaea lotus, while if the flower has a triangular outline, it is based on the blue-flowered species, Nymphaea caerulea. The Egyptian motif continued in Greek, Roman, and later European art. For the Indian lotus specifically, based on the species Nelumbo nucifera, use the narrower term "padma."
  • lotus thrones - Thrones or seats incorporating lotus motifs, found in Hindu, Buddhist, and other traditions.
  • mudra - Symbolic gesture of the body, often particularly focused on the hand and fingers, used in in Indian dance, Hindu and Buddhist ritual, ceremonies, and art, and other contexts. Also used in yoga, meditation, and other activities. Types of mudra represent various concepts, such as reassurance or meditation. These symbolic or ritual hand positions have deep roots in Indic religious tradition. Types of mudra in sculpture and other visual arts are relatively restricted in number, given that movement is necessarily not incorporated.
  • padmasana - Seated, cross-legged posture in which each foot is placed sole upwards on the thigh of the opposite leg.
  • religion - Study of religious beliefs and traditions in human life and culture from the perspective of the humanistic disciplines.
  • Religion
  • religions - Belief systems that encompass various personal and institutional relationships between human beings and what they regard as holy, sacred, or divine, usually but not always a deity, or a spiritual or occult force. Participation in a religion is typically manifested in obedience, reverence, and worship, often including group activities and alliance with a leader. Elements of a religion or similar belief system include doctrine, ritual, defined parameters of morality, and a code of living, often seen as a means of achieving spiritual or material improvement.
  • Religions - Sources:
    - Ellwood, R.S. The encyc. of world religions, 1998.
    - Markham, I. A world religions reader, 1996.
    - Fowler, J. World religions, 1997.
    - Coward, H. Life after death in world religions, 1997.
    - LC database, 30 July 1998
  • religious art - Use broadly for art depicting religious subjects or for art used in worship.
  • Religious art - Sources:
    - Work cat.: 2017040850: Nomadic object, 2017:
    - A&AT, Aug. 28, 2017
    - Britannica online, Aug. 28, 2017:
  • sculpture - Three-dimensional works of art in which images and forms are produced in relief, in intaglio, or in the round. The term refers particularly to art works created by carving or engraving a hard material, by molding or casting a malleable material (which usually then hardens), or by assembling parts to create a three-dimensional object. It is typically used to refer to large or medium-sized objects made of stone, wood, bronze, or another metal. Small objects are typically referred to as "carvings" or another appropriate term. "Sculpture" refers to works that represent tangible beings, objects, or groups of objects, or are abstract works that have defined edges and boundaries and can be measured. As three-dimensional works become more diffused in space or time, or less tangible, use appropriate specific terms, such as "mail art" or "environmental art."
  • Tang - Refers to the culture, style, and period of a Chinese dynasty of the period 618 to 907 CE, a time considered one of the most brilliant in Chinese history. China flourished as a stable, consolidated empire and the resulting prosperity and patronage created a Golden Age of Chinese painting, metalwork, ceramics, music, and poetry. Chang'an, with its masterful urban planning, remained the main Tang capital and a world center. Taizong (reigned 626-649) and Xuanzong (reigned 712-756) were important Tang rulers and patrons. Buddhism remained influential although it suffered periods of persecution during the Tang dynasty. Paintings from the caves at Dunhuang and stone pagodas such as the Great Wild Goose Pagoda (ca. 652) and the Small Wild Goose Pagoda (ca. 707) in Chang'an have survived. Monumental stone sculpture of the northern provinces displays the new tendency toward fuller, more sensual figures. This tendency also found in secular Tang sculpture, both stone and ceramic. The merging of Indian and Chinese sculpture styles is seen at the cave at Mt. Tianlong, created under the patronage of Empress Wu Zetian (reigned 690-705). Painting, which flourished during the Tang, was dominated by the secular landscape tradition. Li Sixum and Li Zhaodao, father and son, and Wang Wei are three painters' names known to us; probable copies of their work exist. Wang Wei's work, influential for later artists, was intimate and melancholy while the work of Li Sixum and Li Zhaodao features the bright greens and blues of many Tang landscapes. Chinese portrait painting, begun in the Han dynasty, was refined in the Tang by such artists as Wu Daozi. Tang ceramics include sancai earthenware figurines and vessels, typically used as tomb objects, white porcellanous wares such as the well-known Xing ware of Henan province, and the jadelike Yue celadons of Zhejiang province. The use of metal oxides in underglaze decoration was developed in Hunan and Sichuanh provinces and porcelain, although not fully exploited until later, has its origins in the Tang period. Tang decorative arts were influenced by Middle Eastern and other foreign trends during the Tang dynasty, leading to new styles in ceramics and metalwork. For instance, colorful glazed earthenware objects such as ewers and rhytons were made to resemble Persian silverwork and Persian weft patterning were introduced to Chinese textiles. China, in turn, exported its pottery, silk, and printing and paper technology. The Tang dynasty was succeeded by the Later Liang dynasty.
  • uṣṇīsạ - Physical mark identifying a buddha, conventionally depicted as a cranial bump and said to possess magical properties.

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Additional Image TN.39_BMC_f_2.jpg

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<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Seated Buddha |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=6/5/2023 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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