Thursday, October 1, 2015

Gilt-bronze Maitreya in Meditation

     I was initially attracted to this piece because it reminded me of the elegance of Etruscan art. The smooth, sensual curvature of the form and the content of curvilinear lines throughout it create a sense of calmness, but solidity simultaneously. My first reaction upon viewing the sculpture was--It is beautiful! I then pondered the question, who does the form represent? what is its meaning?

    The Gilt-bronze Maitreya in Meditation is a guilt-bronze statue of what is believed to the Maitreya, the future Buddha, in a semi-seated contemplative pose. It is commonly referred to as the Contemplative Bodhisattva or Gilt-Bronze Seated Maitreya in English. It is the National Treasure of Korea No. 83
    The statue is widely acknowledged to be one of the finest Buddhist sculptures ever produced and is a masterpiece of Korean art. It is now housed at the National Museum of Korea and is one of the most popular exhibits there.
    The statue is believed to have been made in the early 7th century. Recent scholarship consensus indicates that the statue is probably from Silla because of its drapery fold studies although some believe that this was a Baekje piece. It is 93.5 centimeters tall and is therefore incredibly valuable because few large bronzes survived fro that period. It is made of bronze, and at one point was plated in gold. The figure is perfectly proportional and the sensuality of the draping  both suggest that the sculptor based this work on a real model.

No comments:

Post a Comment