Seated Buddha with Crown

  • Leigutainandong Cave
  • Tang dynasty
  • Limestone
  • H-240
    Longmen Caves Research Institute
Catalogue Entry

Limestone/ Leigutainandong Cave, Tang dynasty/ Fig. H. 240.0 cm/
Longmen Caves Research Institute
While the date of placement in its current location is not certain, this sculpture now is installed on the central dais in the Leigutainandong Cave. The figure's head is topped with a crown covered in jewels and auspicious clouds, the chest of the figure shows a splendidly decorated chest ornament, and the right upper arm has a decorative arm band. The right hand lies on the right leg with all five fingers extended. The right shoulder is bared and the robe wraps around the left shoulder and left arm. The left hand rests on the figure's lap in front of the abdomen with all five fingers are extended. The figure is seated on a square dais with legs folded in padmasana pose with right foot in front. This type of crowned Buddha image can be also found on the main wall of the Leigutaibeidong Cave, in a relief-carved image from Xian Baoqingsi now in the Tokyo National Museum collection, and in the figure of Sakyamuni under the Bodhi Tree inscribed with a date of Xiantian 1 (712) on the Guangyang Qianfoya Cliff in Sichuan province. This iconographic type is often called Mahavairocana. However there is also a theory that the figure is Sakyamuni at the instant of enlightenment. The tip of the nose and the fingers of both hands show breakage. The face is elongated, the eyes are slightly raised at the outside corners, and the face has a dignified appearance overall. The figure's back is straight and elongated, and the small feet are somewhat cramped while the knees are spread wide. This figural type reflects a clear Sinicization of the Indian style, seen at cat. No. 35, with its broad shoulders, sinuous body form, and body visible through thin drapery.