Buddha Offering Protection

Period: late Anuradhapura (8th–10th century)–Polonnaruva pd. (993–1235)

Date: 10th century

Culture: Sri Lanka (central plateau)

Medium: Copper alloy with gilding

Dimensions: H. (figure) 23 3/4 in. (60.3 cm); W. 7 in. (17.8 cm); D. 4 in. (10.2 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Gift of Enid A. Haupt, 1993

Accession Number: 1993.387.8


The Buddha wears two garments—a skirt, its lower hem visible from above the ankles, and a long robe arranged to leave the right shoulder bare. The configuration of the robe and the distinctive system of drapery folds derive from South India traditions of the second and third centuries. The raised extended left arm causes the lower hem of the robe to be pulled up in front, creating a swag as it ascends. The sizable accumulation of cloth then falls down the left side of the Buddha. The robe clings tightly to the body, emphasizing the somewhat sensual treatment of the well-modeled figure. The waist is narrow, the hips and thighs full, and the stomach rounded.