Shakyamuni (or Akshobhya) Buddha

Historical period(s)
14th century
Copper alloy, copper and silver inlay, cold gold, and pigments
H x W x D: 21.5 × 14 × 9 cm (8 7/16 × 5 1/2 × 3 9/16 in)
Western or central Tibet
Credit Line
The Alice S. Kandell Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Sculpture


Akshobhya Buddha, Alice S. Kandell Collection, Buddhism, Shakyamuni Buddha, Tibet
Provenance research underway.

The historical Buddha Shakyamuni (sage of the Lion Clan) lived and taught in northern India from approximately 480 – 400 BCE.  Seated Shakyamuni images are characteristically represented with the left hand holding a begging bowl and the right hand lowered in the earth-touching gesture that signifies the moment of enlightenment.

By the fourteenth century, artisans in Western Tibet began to adopt elements of the more naturalistic idiom of Central Tibet. The naturalistic elements, which ultimately derive from Pala-period India, where Tibetans on pilgrimage and to study at the great Buddhist universities through the twelfth century, include the curled upper eyelids, sharp chin, and the softly modeled abdomen.

Published References
  • Marylin M. Rhie, Robert A.F. Thurman. A Shrine for Tibet: The Alice S. Kandell Collection. New York and London. I-8, 64-65.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
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