Standing Buddha Offering Protection

Period: Gupta period (4th–6th century)

Date: late 5th century

Culture: India (Uttar Pradesh, Mathura)

Medium: Red sandstone

Dimensions: H. 33 11/16 in. (85.5 cm); W. 16 3/4 in. (42.5 cm); D. 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Purchase, Enid A. Haupt Gift, 1979

Accession Number: 1979.6

Description

This Buddha image embodies the qualities of radiant inner calm and stillness, the products of supreme wisdom. The figure once raised his right hand (now missing) in the characteristic abhaya-mudra, a gesture dispelling fear and imparting reassurance. The Buddha is robed in the simple, uncut cloth of a monk, and his religiosity is further conveyed by a large halo and auspicious markings (lakshanas), both natural and supernatural, denoting Buddhahood (the state of perfect enlightenment), As the summation of stylistic development in a period of Buddhist expansion, this representation became the benchmark for the Buddha image throughout Asia.

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