VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Vairochana, the 'Cosmic Buddha'
BA 26
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Buddhist metal statues from Tibet are mostly made from gilt copper alloy. Typical too are the inlays of turquoise, coral and other precious stones. The noble figure of the body, the gentle features and the rich ornamentation make this figure a masterpiece of Tibetan art.

History of the Object
In Vajrayana ('the Diamond Vehicle'), the school of Buddhism which is widely practised in the Himalaya, cosmic Buddhas play an important role. They symbolise different aspects of the absolute, that which cannot be described or represented. Vairochana, the 'Great Illuminator', personifies all-embracing wisdom. With his hands he turns the wheel of teaching and thus shows a path of liberation from the painful cycle of rebirths.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Bronce, fire gilded 
Measurements
Height 50.5 cm.  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Tibet 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 14th century ~ AD 17th century 
Creation date
14th Century - 17th Century; probably 
Function
Religious sculpture 
Acquisition
Berti Aschmann Collection 
Copyright
Museum Rietberg Zürich 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Berti Aschmann Foundation 
Museum
Museum Rietberg 
Credit line
Museum Rietberg Zürich, Berti Aschmann Collection 

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