Standing Buddha, probably Shakyamuni

Date: 5th–6th century

Culture: India (Andhra Pradesh or Tamil Nadu)

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: H. 16 in. (40.6 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Purchase, The Chinese Porcelain Company Gift, 1998

Accession Number: 1998.414


Because few bronze sculptures survive from southern India before the eighth century, this standing figure of a Buddha is particularly important. Although it was reported to have come from the early Buddhist center of Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu, it is more likely that it was made to the north in Andhra Pradesh. The way in which the robe is worn, with the cloth pulled diagonally across the body and thrown over the right shoulder, while the left shoulder is bare, is typical of sculpture from the Krishna River valley in Andhra Pradesh. An active school of sculpture flourished there from the second to the fourth century, and the most important site was Amaravati, noted for its enormous stupa. In this example, the limited number of drapery folds may reflect influence from one of the centers that flourished in North India under Gupta patronage.