Central Tibet, Shakyamuni enlightened

12th-13th century, Central Tibet, Shakyamuni, brass with pigment, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA).

12th-13th century, Central Tibet, Shakyamuni, brass with pigment, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA).

This rare sculpture depicts the historical buddha seated in the lotus position, his right hand calling Earth to witness, his left hand in the meditation position, the flame of enlightenment spurting from the tall bump  on his head (ushnisha). He wears a see-through outer garment that leave his right arm and part of his chest bare. The tail-end of his ankle-length dhoti is neatly folded in a small scallop-shape under his ankles. The top of it forms a curvy line below the punched navel (a feature we have seen before on a 13th century Indian-style Shakyamuni sculpture). He has a Tibetan moon-like face but his eyes are cast down in the Indian fashion. The balanced realistic proportions also correspond to Indian standards.

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