A Sino-tibetan Buddha shown seated in a muhdra of meditation, carved from white jade and with an angled ledge in the back of the figure fitting precisely onto a mottled green and black jadeite throne in the form of a Tibetan stupa, surmounted by cloud motif finial surrounding a white jade medallion with inscripotion picked out in gilding.

Amitabha, 19th century

Unknown artist, expand_more
G210expand_more

Religious images in jade are relatively rare, and this figure of the Buddha Amitabha in contemplation makes an unusual use of contrasting colors of jade. When the Manchus overthrew the Ming in 1644, they adopted the Tibetan style of Buddhism as the official religion. During the eighteenth century especially, a great deal of state funding was directed toward temple construction and monastic renovation. This image was not likely commissioned for a temple, but rather a domestic altar for a member of the Qing aristocracy. The Buddha is shown here in dhyana mudra, the pose of deep contemplation which led to his enlightenment. The figure is seated on a stylized lotus pedestal, a Buddhist symbol for spiritual purity. The enframement in green jade is an open nimbus which takes the form of a Tibetan-style stupa. The inscription is in praise of Amitabha, the Buddha of Infinite Light.

Details
Title
Amitabha
Role
Artist
Dimension
13 1/8 in. (33.34 cm)
Accession Number
92.103.14a,b
Curator Approved

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A Sino-tibetan Buddha shown seated in a muhdra of meditation, carved from white jade and with an angled ledge in the back of the figure fitting precisely onto a mottled green and black jadeite throne in the form of a Tibetan stupa, surmounted by cloud motif finial surrounding a white jade medallion with inscripotion picked out in gilding.