seated figure with legs crossed; PR hand raised in gesture of abhayamudra; wearing robe decorated with patterned block and floral stripes in gold; seated on a lotus petal throne

Amoghasiddhi, 1403-1424

Unknown artist, expand_more

Amoghasiddhi is one the Five Cosmic Buddhas of the Mahayana tradition. It is believed that after the historic Buddha attained enlightenment and ascended to the heavens, he preached to the gods, some of whom became enlightened beings, or buddhas, themselves. These five preside over the four cardinal directions (north, south, east, and west) and also the center. A devotee’s goal is to be reborn into one of their realms. A compartment inside this lacquer figure holds objects of ritual importance. X-rays show what appear to be a roll of paper, possibly a religious text; a small bead or pearl; and a glass vial, perhaps containing consecrated water. The distinctive patterns with infilled gold leaf indicate the sculpture was a gift to a Tibetan monastery by China’s Yongle emperor (1403–24).

Details
Title
Amoghasiddhi
Role
Artist
Accession Number
99.178.4
Curator Approved

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seated figure with legs crossed; PR hand raised in gesture of abhayamudra; wearing robe decorated with patterned block and floral stripes in gold; seated on a lotus petal throne