historic Buddha Shakyamuni, whose original name was Siddhartha Gautama , born
around 563 B.C. a prince of the Sakya kingdom. In retreating from the world, through
meditaiton he attained Niravana, realized his universal self by the renounciation
of all desire.
large wood carving depicts Shakyamuni seated in the royal ease asana, a distinct
departure from the traditional wish granting standing posture, and the lotus seat
meditation position in which he has been portrayed since 2nd century A.D., when
Buddhist representations first appeared in China.
style this Buddha in the royal ease asana alludes to variations established in
the Yuen dynasty (1279-1368). The worldly quality of the Buddha is an authentic
Chinese design not unlike the Kuanyin in Royal Ease established during the renaissance
of the Tang Dynasty. Though later under the sponsorship of the imperial courts
during Ming and Qing, authentic Chinese design gradually disappeared under the
restrictions imposed by the Tibetan Buddhist iconography.