Sun Bodhisattva (Nikkō Bosatsu)

Sun Bodhisattva (Nikkō Bosatsu)


c. 800s

Wood, carved from one block of Japanese yew

Overall: 46.7 cm (18 3/8 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1961.48



With its enigmatic gaze Nikko, the Sun Bodhisattva, seems to radiate compassion. The flowing robes and curving posture might have been influenced by Chinese Buddhist sculpture; however, the interplay of the wood grain in this single block of yew, with the artist's subtle carving, is a Japanese innovation. Originally paired with the Moon Bodhisattva, this figure likely flanked a sculpture of Yakushi Nyorai, the Healing Buddha.

See also
Japanese Art
Japanese Art
Type of artwork: 

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