View right to left
front: Nepalese-Chinese-style bodhisattva proper left: Nepalese-Chinese-style bodhisattva back: Nepalese-Chinese-style bodhisattva

Nepalese-Chinese-style bodhisattva

Historical period(s)
Yuan dynasty, 13th century
Lacquer, cloth, traces of blue, gold, and green paint, and gold leaf
58.5 x 43.3 x 29.5 cm
Credit Line
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number

Although made in China, the style of this bodhisattva (enlightened being) is decidedly Nepalese. This influence reflects the cosmopolitan nature of the Yuan dynasty court and its important foreign relations. The Nepalese artist, Anige, headed the Chinese imperial workshop at the time this bodhisattva was made.

The technique used for this sculpture is called "dry lacquer." The basic process is to arrange several layers of lacquer-impregnated cloth over a rough clay core to form the sculpture and with a pastelike lacquer mixture, the finer details can be carefully modeled. Thin iron rods were inserted inside the figure to help support fragile parts. When the figure was finished and the lacquer dry, the clay core was removed from the inside. The resulting sculpture is thus extremely light weight. This image was once painted and gilded, but only traces of the original color remain.

Provenance information is currently unavailable
On View Location
Freer, Gallery 02: Arts of the Indian Subcontinent and the Himalayas
Lacquer, Sculpture
bodhisattva, Buddhism, China, Yuan dynasty (1279 - 1368)
Collection(s) Area
Chinese Art
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

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