H. 39 1/2 in. (100.3 cm); W. 12 in. (30.5 cm); D. 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm)
Gift of Florence and Herbert Irving, 1993
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 245
Early in the seventh century a new Buddha type appeared in Southeast Asia, inspired by innovations that were taking place in northern India. The wellspring was the important monastic school at Sarnath. Its workshops undoubtedly supplied Buddha images to a great variety of clients, including pilgrim-monks who would have purchased small images—often, one may surmise, made of wood—easily transportable to their homelands. This Buddha, slender and ethereal, is a superb example of the early acceptance of the northern Indian model of ideal Buddhahood, seen in the increasingly detached and otherworldly expression and the use of body-defining drapery.