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Images of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni are ubiquitous in the many ancient temples of Bagan, Burma. This Buddha is unusual in combining marble (head, hands, and feet) wood (body), metal (headdress), and leather (flying scarves). The artist saved the more valuable marble for the most expressive parts of the body.
Burmese legend asserts the Indian king Ashoka (died 232 BCE) sent Buddhist missionaries to Burma in the 3rd century BCE. The legend is a testament to the importance of Buddhism in Myanmar, where Buddhist temples and art dominate the countryside, with large, stuccoed reliquary mounds (stupas) and monasteries being a common sight. Look for the gilding of the Buddha’s headdress and clothing, applied by devotees as part of their worship.
[Unknown artist Myanmar, (Burma) “Buddha and Pedestal” 19th century. Wood, lacquer, glass inlay, marble, and leather. Crocker Art Museum gift from Doris Duke’s Southeast Asian Art Collection, 2003.53.15 and 2003.53.27]
Shared by crockerart (Crocker Art Museum) and selected for Art.