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Asian art

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Seated Buddha

14th century


Unknown Artist


This seated meditating Buddha is shown in 'virasana', a 'half-lotus pose', in a style typical of the Sri Lankan Buddha image. The rounded face with a rather short neck is framed by a neat helmet of tight curls crowned with a distinctive 'ushnisha' in the shape of a flame set with a jewel (now missing). The shoulders of this Buddha are broad and the body is firm and strong. He is clothed in a simple, smooth robe worn in what is known as the open mode - that is, with one shoulder bare. The Buddha is shown in 'dhyanamudra', the gesture of perfect balance and meditation, with the arms resting near his feet with palms facing upwards. This Buddha image is characteristic of the post-Polonnaruva style of image. The simplicity and balance of this piece maintains an air of stillness and peace.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000.


Place where the work was made

Polonnaruva Sri Lanka


14th century

Media category


Materials used

copper alloy, gold leaf


11.0 x 8.0 x 4.0 cm object; 11.7 x 9.0 x 5.2 cm object with stand

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Bequest of Alex Biancardi 2000


Not on display

Accession number


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history

  • Walking with gods, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 01 Jun 2019–05 Jan 2020


Alex Biancardi, pre Nov 1998, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, bequeathed to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2000.

Referenced in 1 publication


Judith White (Editor), Look, Melbourne, Oct 2000, 17 (colour illus.).