Buddha at Art Institute of Chicago



Creator: Unknown

Date Created: Unknown

Location: Art Institute Chicago (2016)

Context: Visit to the Museum

Potential Relevance for the future: It is one of the biggest representations of Buddha in the World.

Description: This meditating Buddha comes from the coastal town of Nagapattinam in southern India, which was, as a result of settlers from Srivijaya (Indonesia), one of the few places where Buddhism was still flourishing in the twelfth century. The Buddha—with his elongated earlobes, the wheel marks on his palms, the urna between his brows, and the cranial protuberance covered with snail-shell curls—is seated in the posture of meditation, with his hands resting on his lap (dhyanamudra), wearing a seemingly diaphanous monastic garment. As in other images from Nagapattinam, a flame emerges out of the Buddha’s cranial protuberance, probably signifying wisdom. This monumental sculpture carved out of granite originally would have graced a monastic site at Nagapattinam, which is also well known for its Buddhist bronzes. The Tamil inscription covering its back is now no longer legible. (From the AIC website).

Context: My firsts thought surrounding this Buddha were that Mr. and Mrs. Brown had no right of having this statue. In other context, the acquisition of it makes me think on others not that pessimistic ways of viewing it.


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