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Buddha calling the Earth to witness (bhumisparsha mudra)

late 12th century


Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Other Titles
    Figure of Buddha
    Buddha on the lion throne
    Place where the work was made
    Pagan Myanmar
    late 12th century
    Media category
    Materials used
    copper alloy
    12.0 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 1997
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    Early Buddhist images from Burma have distinctive stylistic qualities that distinguish them from their South-east Asian counterparts. In Burmese Buddhism, which followed the Theravada path, the dominant figure is Akshobhya, represented here. In this characteristic pose the Buddha is seated with feet upturned, bearing wheel marks on his soles. A button-like protuberance on his forehead resembles the 'urna'. The left hand rests face up on the lap in the meditation 'mudra'; the right hangs with the tips of the outstretched fingers touching the ground in the 'bhumispara mudra'. With this gesture the Buddha invokes the earth to witness his resistance of the temptations of the spirit of evil, Mara.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 9 publications

  • Provenance

    Collection Beurdeley Matthews, London, Apr 1981, London/England, offered for sale in the exhibition ‘Burmese art and its influences’, April 1981, London.

    Alex Biancardi, pre Apr 1997, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, purchased by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1997.