Temple Gallery

Established 1959

Standing Buddha - exhibited at the Temple Gallery, specialists in Russian icons

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GG030. Standing Buddha

19th century
Carved wood, lacquer and gilt
Height: 56 cmClick here to convert metric size to imperial

£1,800 Click here to convert price to USD or EUR

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This figure represents the Amidha Raigo or ‘Descending Buddha’. Amida is shown here descending to earth, welcoming the believer to his paradise (vitarkamudra).

Esoteric (Vajrayana) Buddhism, a later development of Buddhism, postulates the existence of many Buddhas. Amitabha Buddha, known as Amida in Japan, presides over the Western Paradise (Sukhavati) and worship of him became particularly popular in East Asia. The introduction of Buddhism to Japan in the sixth century was one of the most important events in Japanese history and had a lasting effect on the development of its thought, art, and culture. Worship of Amitabha became widespread in the Kamakura period (1185-1333). Painted and sculpted versions of descent or raigo images became popular during this period. It was thought that saying Amida's name at the moment of death ensured rebirth in his paradise. Painted and sculpted versions of this theme are known to have been placed before the deathbed of a devotee in order to help her or him concentrate on Amida.

The iconographic type goes to back to at least the 13th century as illustrated by a closely related image in the Spencer Museum of Art, Kansas University.

Detail Images