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Bronze figure of the Buddha Shakyamuni
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Тhis beautiful bronze statue of the Buddha was created in a Buddhist monastery workshop, probably in the Indian state of Bihar. It was made shortly after the end of the Gupta dynasty (AD 320-550) and displays many of the features typical of the Gupta period: the figure is soft, gentle and simple, with heavy-lidded, downcast eyes and 'snail shell' curls. The downward cast of the eyes also indicates that it was designed to be installed in an elevated position, on an altar, and, on occasions, to be carried in processions.

The figure displays a number of the supernatural marks of Buddhahood, including the usnisa (protuberance at the top of the head) and webbed fingers. This type of Buddha is important in the stylistic development of Indian cultural influence and is credited with creating the quintessential Buddha type, which was copied throughout the Asian Buddhist world.

Bronze figure of the Buddha Shakyamuni

From eastern India, 7th century AD
Ht 35.5 cm
Jointly owned by the British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum, purchased with contributions from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Art Fund, Brooke Sewell Permanent Fund (BM), Victoria and Albert Museum, Friends of the V&A and private donors.

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