seated figure with legs crossed, hands clasped on lap; shroud over head draping over shoulders; clothing drapes over front knees; remnants of gold pigment; inlaid eyes

Bodhidharma, 14th century

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Bodhidharma was the Indian monk credited with transmitting Zen Buddhism to China in the 400s or 500s. He is thus worshipped widely as the patriarch of Zen. Originally, this figure would have been shown wearing a bright red robe, while the exposed parts of his body were covered in gold leaf. If you look closely you can make out the various layers of hemp cloth, lacquer, pigments, and gold leaf that once totally covered the surface of the carved wooden core. Over years of exposure in its original temple setting, the outer layers of gold and pigments have degraded, exposing the lacquer and hemp cloth below.

Details
Title
Bodhidharma
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2015.79.268
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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seated figure with legs crossed, hands clasped on lap; shroud over head draping over shoulders; clothing drapes over front knees; remnants of gold pigment; inlaid eyes