Wood with lacquer and gilding
Overall: 33 x 21 x 19.8 cm (13 x 8 1/4 x 7 13/16 in.)
The Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund and partial gift of The Honorable Joseph P. Carroll and Roberta Carroll, M.D. in memory of Godfrey St. G. M. Gompertz 1995.67
This Buddhist statue was donated to the museum in memory of Godfrey St. G. M. Gompertz (1904-1992), a pioneering scholar and collector of Korean art, in particular in the area of Goryeo-period celadons.
In Buddhist art, buddhas (supreme beings who entered the world of nirvana) and bodhisattvas (compassionate beings committed to the attainment of enlightenment for others) are two main subjects. The religious role of buddhas and bodhisattvas—to lead all sentient beings to the realm of Buddhahood—is the same, yet visual languages to represent them is different. As shown in this statue, the Buddha is represented as a monk with shaven head and dressed in simple monastic robes. Bodhisattvas, on the other hand, are adorned with elaborate jewelry and a lock of long hair.
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