50 Years New in Asia

Shakyamuni - A Masterpiece of Imperial Buddhist Art for the Yongle Emperor

Hong Kong

This exceptional statue of Shakyamuni Buddha dating back to the Yongle period in the early 15th century, stands as a masterpiece that has remained in pristine condition. It retains its separately made throne and Arch of Glory, along with the beautifully prepared scrolls and inscribed tablets used during the statue’s consecration ceremony. The iconographic form which depicts the historical Buddha seated with his right hand in the earth-touching position, bhumisparsha mudra, recalls a momentous episode from his spiritual biography in which he triumphs over Mara just prior to his enlightenment. This remarkable sculpture, of immense importance at the time of its casting and among the heirlooms of subsequent emperors, appears to have been lavishly and prominently depicted in the illustrious albums of Wisdom Sutra commissioned by the Xuande Emperor. There is no doubt that this sculpture ranks among the largest and most important gilt bronze Buddhist sculptures in private hands.

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