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Buddha shrine
MPE 67615
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The pure Mandalay style shrine houses a beautifully rendered statue in alabaster with an overlay of gold lacquer representing the Buddha in the earth witnessing position. According to the holy iconographic schemes, his ethereal features are emphasized. This impressive shrine, in classical “Mandalay Style”, was selected as a representative royal gift and has, therefore, a great historical value.

History of the Object
The shrine was donated in 1876 to King Vittorio Emanuele II by Mindon Min (1808 – 1878), King of Burma from 1853 to 1878. One of the most popular kings of his country, he tried to defend it from British encroachments, and to modernize his Kingdom. He founded the last royal capital, Mandalay, in 1854, giving it the perfect geometrical form of a Buddhist mandala from which it took its name. He arranged for a remarkable International Buddhist Council to be held there, only the fifth since the Buddha’s death in the 6th century BC. Although it was the capital for only a brief period (1860-1885), it was in Mandalay that the arts of Burma developed a new style, that is still in use. Gold, thought to represent the radiance of spiritual energy and power, played an important part in the “Mandalay Style” that is characterized by the extensive use of gold leaf with bits of inlaid colored glass, beads and silver mirror.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Teak wood, metal, gilded lacquer, alabaster, glass beads and mirror 
Measurements
Shrine: 254 * 118 cm; Buddha statue 51 * 35 cm. 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Myanmar 
Geography
Myanmar 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
19th Century - 20th Century; 1804-1929; Anuvong Period 
Function
Religious 
Acquisition
Gift of King Vittorio Emanuele III, 1901 
Copyright
©Soprintendenza al Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini, Roma 
Acknowledgements
Text: Loretta Paderni, Francesco de Feo Photo: Giorgio Bronchi, Fabio Naccari © Soprintendenza al Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini, Roma 
Owner
Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini, RomaState property, Italy 
Museum
Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico  
Credit line
 

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