Amitabha Buddha (Amida), the Buddha of Infinite Light

citation

Historical period(s)
Kamakura period, 13th century
Medium
Gilt bronze
Dimensions
H x W x D: 47.6 × 10 × 12.7 cm (18 3/4 × 3 15/16 × 5 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
F1971.4a-b
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Metalwork, Sculpture
Type

Buddhist sculpture

Keywords
abhaya mudra, Amitabha Buddha, Buddha, Buddhism, casting, gilding, Japan, Kamakura period (1185 - 1333), WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

N.V. Hammer, Inc.

Label

The Buddha of Infinite Light, known in Japanese as Amida, presided over the Pure Land, the Western Paradise where the faithful could be reborn and gain release from an endless cycle of birth, rebirth, and suffering. Worship of Amida, which reached a peak during the Kamakura period (1185-1333), was promoted by the promise of salvation and also by the Japanese belief that mappo, the final period of decline of the Buddhist Law, had begun in the eleventh century.

This small gilt-bronze sculpture of Amida was created for private worship; the symbolic hand gestures, known as mudra, signify protection against fear. Bronze is traditionally believed to have been the earliest medium of Buddhist sculpture in Japan. Although wood became the dominant medium from the ninth century onward, bronze continued in widespread use for small images and was occasionally used for large sculptures such as the Great Buddha at Kamakura.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum