Burmese Bronze Buddha

Date: 17th century
Geography: Burma
Culture: Buddhist
Medium: Bronze
Dimensions: H: 9.5 in W: 5.5 in
Credit Line: Gift of The John Young Foundation
Accession Number: 1998.1.69

Burmese bronze work was characteristically unique due to its adaptation form techniques from India, as well as style adaptations that were influenced by the surrounding areas of Thailand, China, Cambodia and Nepal. Burmese bronze work employed the lost-wax technique; where a wax mold of the object is created and then melts away when the molten bronze is poured in. This example of a Burmese bronze Buddha is dated from the 17th century, which would place its creation within the Ava Period; a time of relative stability that lasted for 250 years. The Buddha sits in a meditative pose and his hands, with fingers of the same length, are in the Earth-touching gesture, or mudra, which symbolizes the moment of his Enlightenment. The Buddha appears serene, his head slightly lowered, his chin gently bowed on his short neck. His face is triangular, his nose sharply defined and pointed, his mouth small and graceful. His ears are long and touch his shoulders; his hair tightly curled against his head. He is dressed in a simple monk's robe, that folds and drapes across his chest. He is also enthroned and elevated on what appears to be a lotus throne, and there is a lotus-bud like protuberance atop his head.