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Buddha Offering Protection

Period:
Divided Kingdoms period (1232–1597)
Date:
mid-15th–16th century
Culture:
Sri Lanka (western regions)
Medium:
Copper alloy with gilding
Dimensions:
H. 20 7/8 in. (53 cm); W. 5 7/8 in. (15 cm); Diam. of pedestal 5 7/16 in. (13.8 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Purchase, Louis V. Bell, Harris Brisbane Dick, Fletcher, and Rogers Funds and Joseph Pulitzer Bequest; The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Foundation Fund; Florence and Herbert Irving, Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Anne H. Bass Gifts, 2010
Accession Number:
2010.66a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 242
This imposing Buddha makes the abhaya mudra gesture with his raised right hand, conveying compassionate protection to devotees, while his left hand supports the sweeping fall of the monastic robe (uttarsanga). The monumentality of this icon is exceptional for the period. It provides an important bridge between the great eighth-century late-Anuradhapura-style rock-cut Buddha at Avukana, which it consciously imitates, and the full-bodied, robed figures with stylized water-patterning folds of the successive Kandyan period.
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