Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Statue of Buddha at Birth

Nara period (710–794)
7th century
Gilt bronze, lacquer base with mother-of-pearl
H. 5 5/8 in. (14.3 cm)
Overall H. 9 1/8 in. (23.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Rogers and Seymour Funds and The J. M. Kaplan Fund Inc. and Rafi Y. Mottahedeh Gift, 1968
Accession Number:
Not on view
This figurine represents the newborn Shaka. Immediately after his birth he took seven steps and looked to the four corners of the earth. Then, raising two fingers of his right hand toward heaven and his left hand toward earth, he pronounced "I alone am Prince of that above and below the heavens." A newborn-Buddha statuette is bathed at the annual ceremony celebrating the birth of Buddha on the eight day of April.
[ Asian Gallery , New York, until 1968; sold to MMA]
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