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Shan Burmese Buddha Figure

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Shan Burmese Buddha Figure

This large and important representation of the historical Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, was done in dry lacquer and richly gilt according to Shan-Burmese sculptural traditions. Though territorially part of Burma, the Shan states developed their own distinct artistic style. During the 18th century, Shan Buddha sculpture became particularly sophisticated and elegant. Finely and realistically molded, the face exudes sweetness and serenity. A slight, enigmatic smile plays across the lips. Long, pendulous earlobes reach down to touch the shoulders. A gilt wooden finial tops the unisha. The Buddha is portrayed seated on an elaborate dais in the full lotus position, hands displaying the bhumisparsa mudra (calling the earth to witness), symbolizing the moment the Buddha reached enlightenment. As the piece was intended to be viewed from below, the eyes appear almost closed when viewed straight-on. From below, they radiate power, grace and intelligence. The piece dates from at least the mid-19th century and quite possibly the late 18th. Repairs are minor and damage is minimal; normal for age and use. Most importantly, the piece was never re-gilt or painted. The pattern of wear and patina is extraordinarily rich and beautiful.
Origin | Myanmar
Year Made | 18th Century
Material | Gold Leaf & Lacquer
Dimensions | 25.5"W x 19"D x 41"H
ID | 11M09001
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