Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Fasting Buddha Shakyamuni

Kushan period
3rd–5th century
Pakistan (ancient region of Gandhara)
H. 10 15/16 in. (27.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Samuel Eilenberg Collection, Ex Coll.: Columbia University, Purchase, Rogers, Dodge, Harris Brisbane Dick and Fletcher Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1987
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 235
After reaching enlightenment at Bodhgaya, Shakyamuni meditated and fasted for forty-nine days. Thus, showing him as an emaciated renouncer relates to his enlightenment and his status as a yogic ascetic who has ultimate control over his body. Other characteristics that relate to his enlightenment include the kusha grass on which he sits and the scene on the base, which shows the Buddha's first sermon, at Sarnath.
Samuel Eilenberg , New York (until 1986; donated to Columbia University) ; [ Columbia University , New York, 1986–1987, sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Lotus Transcendent: Indian and Southeast Asian Art from the Samuel Eilenberg Collection," October 2, 1991–June 28, 1992.

Barcelona. Casa Àsia. "Divine Presence: Arts of India and the Himalayas," March 15, 2003–June 22, 2003.

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