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


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.