Friday, October 2, 2015

Initial Reaction

This statue from the Japan and Korea section of the book really stood out to me because it was very beautiful and intriguing. There is a lot of details in some places, such as the crown and the object the figure is sitting on, but there are also many parts to this that have very little line work and detail showing, such as the torso, face, and arms. It seems to have been carved out of jade. The crown is very detailed with many little bits of filigree and complex designs. The face is in a very peaceful and meditative state and the skin that is shown is very smooth with very little detail, besides the bands around the arms and the wrist. The figure appears to be sitting on some sort of leaf-like object and a pedestal of some sort, like something you might find in a temple of some sort. The carving is incredibly detailed at the bottom of the pedestal and there are tiny rectangles carved completely through the stone where you can see through the figure. The figure has it's hand touching it's cheek while the hand rests on it's leg, which is crossed over the other and suspended. 

After Research

The sculpture is actually gilt-bronze. The pose it sits in represents the "pensive pose" and they are usually called Maitreya. They are not exactly Buddha, rather they are called "bodhisattava" and are said to be from the "cosmic era." They are referred to as the "future Buddha" who are said to descend from the Heavens and bring forth the teachings, or the "law," when the teachings of Buddha have decayed entirely. The name Maitreya means many things such as "friendliness," "kind," and "loving." I think after researching it, my reaction changed in the way that it makes more sense for it to be called Maitreya, because it's face looks very kind, friendly, and loving. I feel like I understand the piece a lot better, it gives in a much needed back story that I didn't know before. 


Image Source:
Photographer: Lawinc82
Research Sources:

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