Object Record

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Collection Chinese Collection
Catalog Number 2013.6.1
Object Name Sculpture
Description Seated Buddha on a Lotus, Chinese, Ming dynasty, Yongle reign (1403-1424) or later Ming (1425-1644), dry lacquer, gold, cloth, paper, pigment, and wood

The style of the sculpture shows Tibetan influence in the form of the double-lotus base and the ornament on the Buddha's robes. In the hollow interior, about 45 pounds of sandalwood, bits of aromatic herbs and various kinds of beans and peas, two fabric bags with unidentified contents, and 43 paper scrolls were placed. One scroll is a Tibetan block-printed transcript of a Sanskrit mantra invoking Vajrasattva, the Primordial Buddha.

The sculpture was made using the dry lacquer technique. The approximate outline of the finished sculpture was made from clay. Over this were laid strips of cloth which had been impregnated with lacquer (a natural varnish from the sap of an Asian sumac). The sculpture was built up with further layers of lacquer and lacquer putty (sap mixed with sawdust, fine sand or other filler). Some details, like the bulging lotus petals and the round beads of the base, were made seperately and then attached. Once the layers of lacquer were set, the clay core was removed.
Title Seated Buddha on a Lotus
Date 1403-1644
Material wood | lacquer | gold | cloth | paper
Dimensions H-42.992 W-35 D-26.732 inches
Credit line Gift of The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation
Place of Origin Asia/China
Culture Chinese
Subjects Buddhism
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