Sep 12, 2005

Shakyamuni as an Ascetic

Shakyamuni as an Ascetic

early 1300s

Gilt bronze with polychromy

Overall: 44.2 x 31.8 cm (17 3/8 x 12 1/2 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1966.116


This statue is of monumental scale and exceptionally fine workmanship. A work of this size and quality was likely to have been made in the official workshops under imperial auspices. The image of the ascetic Shakyamuni (the historical Buddha) is both powerful and immediate. Shakyamuni is portrayed in a state of contemplative meditation with closed eyes and an inward smile. He leans forward, head and hands resting on an upraised knee. The representation speaks eloquently of his withdrawal from the world to attain self-realization. It recalls another famous iconic image in the Cleveland collection depicting Shakyamuni descending from the mountains after enlightenment.

See also
Chinese Art
Type of artwork: 

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email