VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Amitabha Buddha
SN32
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Sitting with crossed legs on a three-level lotus pedestal, the Buddha wears robes that go over both shoulders and flow down to cover the pedestal seat. The right hand is held chest high with fingers raised and the left hand is placed on the knee. The figure, aureole, and pedestal were all cast seperately and joined together, the figure made of pure gold and the other parts gilt-bronze. This image is a fine work of art from early Unified Silla, which had assimilated the style of the Tang Dynasty of China, as seen in the balanced proportions of the body and meticulous expression of details. It is designated as Korean National Treasure No. 79.

History of the Object
This statuette was found in a gilt-bronze sarira casket discovered in 1942 inside the three-story stone pagoda of Guhwang-dong, Gyeongju. Aside from this image, the casket yielded a statuette of a standing Buddha as well as various other sarira accessories. According to the inscription on the lid, the pagoda was established in 692 by King Hyoso. Later, the casket, an image of Amitabha and a copy of Spotless Pure Light Dharani Sutra were added to the pagoda by King Seongdeok in 706. Through the stylistic analysis of the statue, it is presumed to be the Amitabha Buddha enshrined in 706.

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
Gold, Gilt Bronze 
Measurements
Height 12.2cm  
Creator name
unknown 
Creator date
unknown 
Where it was made
Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do province, Korea 
Geography
Korea 
Time period
AD 8th century ~ AD 8th century 
Creation date
8 th Century; 706; Unified Silla 
Function
Buddhist Ritual 
Acquisition
Excavated in 1942 
Copyright
National Museum of Korea 
Acknowledgements
National Museum of Korea, National Museum of Korea Digital Museum 2.0, Cultural Foundation of National Museum of Korea, Seoul, 2007 
Owner
National Museum of Korea 
Museum
National Museum of Korea 
Credit line
National Museum of Korea 
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