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HOME : Chinese Art : Ming Dynasty : Bronze figure of Seated Vairocana
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Bronze figure of Seated Vairocana - HK.2009
Origin: China
Circa: 15 th Century AD to 17 th Century AD
Dimensions: 14" (35.6cm) high x 10" (25.4cm) wide
Collection: Chinese
Medium: Bronze

Additional Information: Hong Kong

Location: UAE
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This is a seated sculpture of Vairocana, the primordial Buddha. Wearing a crown of five Tathagatas, his eyes are slightly downcast with a serene expression, flanked by elongated earlobes suspending ornate earrings and ribbons falling over the shoulders. he places his in front of his chest, forming the uttarabodhi mudra, the gesture of supreme enlightenment. The elegantly flowing robes reveal his plain chest marked with a swastika. The base of the sculpture is sealed with a lotus symbol.

Vairocana was deemed the embodiment of the Buddhist concept of emptiness, sunyata and encompassing wisdom, one of the qualities of the Five Tathagatas, represented on the pointed crown. The uttrabodhi mudra displayed by the figure represents Supreme Enlightenment, a quality possessed by one of the Five Dhyani Buddhas, of which Vairocana was one, the other four being Aksobhya, Ratnasambhava, Amitabha and Amoghasiddhi. The complete group, with Vairocana at the centre, is depicted on the pointed crown of the present figure.

Approaching the later period of Ming Dynasty, there was a gradual stylistic change. Departing from the slender and slim physique dominating the Yongle and Xuande era, late Ming sculptures have a broader chest and a thicker torso. The most distinctive feature, perhaps, is the considerably big head, evidently visible in this sculpture. - (HK.2009)


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