Bronze with silver inlay; H. 19 7/8 in. (50.5 cm)
Gift of Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Foundation, 1993 (1993.235.1)
Although the Buddha's image is a frontal and static one, here the proportions of the figure and facial type have been altered to reflect local tastes. The head is unusually large and the hips wide. The body is highly conceptualized and has lost a close correspondence with the human form. The size of the head, width of the shoulders, and taper of the legs have all become exaggerated. The face is almost heart-shaped, with a broad forehead, wide eyes, long nose, upturned mouth, square jaw, and small chin. The monastic robes cling to the body and flare outward from the forearms. The robes do not resemble real fabric but instead cling to the Buddha as if they were transparent, revealing the upper hem of the skirt and the robust forms of the upper body. The Buddha makes the gesture of protection with his right hand and, in his left, holds the folded hem of his outer robe. The work is typical of sculptures produced in the Burmese Buddhist kingdom of Pagan, which was founded in the mid-eleventh century.