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Buddha "Pu-tai God of happiness "
RKM 1144-1915
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

With his fabulous smile, Pu-tai is the benign spirit of the whole museum. Nowhere else in Sweden can such a giant Buddha be seen. Kerstin Lekholm, Conservator, Röhsska Museum

History of the Object
Pu-tai was purchased from a private dwelling in Peking built where a Ming temple had previously stood. In order to retrieve the enormous sculpture, Thorild Wulff had half the house demolished. In Japan Pu-tai is one of the seven Gods of happiness, while in China he is considered to be one of Buddha’s 18 disciples. Bodhisattva Maitreya incarnate in Pu-tai is a helper in life’s everyday troubles; he is often depicted surrounded by children and is portrayed as the friend and protector of children. The laughing Buddha Pu-tai or Budai was acquired for the museum in 1915 and was part of the collection Thorild Wulff brought home. Pu-tai has been on display in the upper landing at the Röhsska Museum since 1915 and as one of its most popular exhibits, it is strongly associated with the museum. It was probably made during the Ming period and is carved in wood and layered with coats of partially gilded, reddish-brown lacquer.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Wooden frame and surface finish in lacquer and gilt 
Measurements
Width 170cm Height 170 cm Length 160 cm  
Creator name
unknown 
Creator date
unknown 
Where it was made
China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 14th century ~ AD 17th century 
Creation date
14th Century - 17th Century; Ming period (1368-1644) 
Function
In Japan Pu-tai is one of the seven Gods of happiness, while in China he is considered to be one of Buddha’s 18 disciples. 
Acquisition
Purchased in China by Thorild Wulff for the Röhsska Museum, 1914. 
Copyright
The Röhsska Museum 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
The Röhsska Museum 
Museum
The Röhsska Museum, of Design, Fashion and Decorative Arts 
Credit line
 

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