Shakyamuni seated on a throne, flanked by 2 Bodhisattvas and surrounded by 8 rows of seated deities and monks; red, gold, green and blue

Shakyamuni Buddha, 1440-1470

Unknown artist, expand_more
Not on Viewexpand_more

The golden, radiant body of the Buddha is depicted at the moment of his enlightenment in this stunning thangka (painting). He wears a patchwork monastic robe and carries a begging bowl, both of which he adopted after choosing asceticism over his former princely life. His right hand reaches for the earth, and a raised golden halo surrounds his head and body. Two bodhisattvas stand at either side of his lotus petal throne.

He is surrounded by lineage masters, many of whom gesture in lively debate. A line of protective deities appears at the bottom, along with the monk Xuanzang, who walks next to his tiger companion and an emanation of the red cosmic Buddha, Amitābha, who is associated with the West. Xuanzang was a Chinese Buddhist monk who traveled to India in the seventh century and wrote about his journeys there.

Details
Title
Shakyamuni Buddha
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2000.31.5
Curator Approved

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Shakyamuni seated on a throne, flanked by 2 Bodhisattvas and surrounded by 8 rows of seated deities and monks; red, gold, green and blue