Art of Asia
Seated Buddha dated 338
This Buddha has a unique status among Buddhas in China. It bears an inscription on the back that is equivalent to the year 338. This is the earliest date inscribed on any Buddha sculpture from China, anywhere in the world. Listen to Michael Knight, Curator Emeritus of Chinese Art at the Asian Art Museum, discuss one of the museum's masterpieces, a seated Buddha from 338, as you view images of the object and a rendering in 3D. Learn more about this seated Buddha on the Asian Art Museum's education website. Created by Asian Art Museum.
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- At0:36, there is a huge chunk missing from the back of the statue. Is there any idea as to what the inscriptions may have been?(2 votes)
- i think it may have been more about the date and what happened on that day or it could be a ritual or prayer from the monks. ?(1 vote)
- No wonder the Buddha statues are so sacred. They are like gods! Why is it seated?(2 votes)
- How does this compare with other religious figures?(2 votes)
- What does the inscription actually say?(1 vote)
- The inscription was 338. Was this c.e. or how does it equate to our calendar? Doesn't China have their own calendar?(1 vote)
- Yes, China had their own calendar. The number 338 wasn't inscribed on the item, it's just the date converted into our calendar (and yes, it's 338 C.E.)(1 vote)
- What other information was inscribed along with the date?(1 vote)
- Most likely a poem, or the person it might have been made for (if at all) or some sort of prayer(1 vote)
- what was up with all this buddha in the 220(1 vote)
- why did the chinese worship the buddha(1 vote)
this buddha has a unique status amongst buddhas in china Michael Knight senior curator of Chinese art it has an inscription on the back that is equivalent to three three eight and that is the earliest date inscribed on any Buddhist sculpture from China not just in our museum but anywhere in the world and the fact that it is the earliest dated Buddha and such a large one for the period it's a masterpiece no question while the sculpture itself is almost completely intact there are some elements missing if you can kind of peek around to the back you will see sticking out of the back of the head there's a square protrusion with a round hole in the middle it suggests that something was once attached to the back of the Buddha most likely an umbrella so as you look at this piece you have to imagine there would have been a shaft going up with an umbrella on the top of that shaft and then hanging from the outside edge of that umbrella would have been a series of bangles also on the front if you look at it closely there are three holes and those three holes most likely would have supported a pair of guardian Lions on either side and then in the center a lotus and the Buddha was completely covered in gold except for the head which was probably painted dark blue or black it was Buddhist missionary monks from Central Asia who brought images of the Buddha to China you