|Date Range||1000 - 1099|
|Size||14.29cm (5.63in) high|
|Material||Copper, Copper Inlay, Silver Inlay|
|Catalogue #||acc # 1979.089, Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art|
This sculpture depicts Shakyamuni Buddha performing the earth-touching gesture (bhumisparsha mudra). This gesture refers to the moment when the Buddha-to-be called the earth to witness his right to achieve enlightenment. The small female figure holding a vase beneath Shakyamuni represents the earth goddess whom he invoked. The Buddha sits on an elaborately patterned cushion decorated with the face of a lion. The distinctive use of two colors of metal in this piece may reflect a practice recorded in the writings of the Tibetan scholar and teacher Padma Dkarpol (1524-1592) who described a type of image which was made of both "white brass" and "red brass." In this case, the "white brass" refers to the yellowish areas of the Buddha's body and throne, while the "red brass" refers to the copper that comprises the Buddha's robe.