Overall: 46.5 x 15.4 x 13.4 cm (18 5/16 x 6 1/16 x 5 1/4 in.); without base: 35 x 13.8 x 10.5 cm (13 3/4 x 5 7/16 x 4 1/8 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1968.40
Few bronze images of the Buddha dating to this early period in the history of Indian art survive, since bronze lends itself to being melted down for other uses. This example is also exceptional because it carries an extensive inscription on its base that dates it to the year 591. According to the inscription the sculpture was dedicated by a nun who was from a village in Nepal, but it may have been made in a workshop in India. Movable bronze images were made for personal meditation or devotional purposes.
The monk’s robe on this image has been left plain, without pleat lines to obscure the beauty of the contours of the body. Only the rippling scalloped clusters of the garment’s hem lend some sense of energy and subtle ornament to the composition.
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