Seated Buddha Painted red inside


Seated Buddha Painted red inside


Asuka period, 7th century

Gilt bronze



Important Cultural Property

Here we see an image of a Buddha seated with garments spread wide. The style is very similar to the image of Sakyamuni at the Golden Hall of Hōryūji temple in Nara. The image at Hōryū ji was made in 623 by Tori, the first notable sculptor in Japan, and this work appears to reflect his style. The figure has large, almond-shaped eyes, arching eyebrows, a high-bridged nose, and a subtle smile. In addition to his long face and thin physique, these are all characteristics of Buddhist sculptures made during the Asuka period, between the end of the sixth century and first half of the seventh century.
In contrast to the hands reaching forward, the body has far less presence and reflects an emphasis on symmetry. The statue is thus highly stylized while retaining a mysterious air of dignity. Moreover, the pleats around the stomach and legs form U shapes, giving this otherwise static work a sense of rhythmical motion. Overall, this style is based on the statuary of the Northern and Southern dynasties of China, and was transmitted to Japan via the Korean peninsula.

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