Ascetic Shakyamuni


Artist
Chinese (Chinese)
Date
late 16th-17th century
Medium
Ink, color on paper
Dimensions
- : 30 5/8 x 23 3/8 in. (77.79 x 59.37 cm)
- : 6 ft. 9 in. x 25 5/8 in. x 1 5/8 in. (2.1 m x 65.09 cm x 4.13 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of David Kamansky and Gerald Wheaton
Object Number
2014.23.89

Label
This painting depicts the Buddha Shakyamuni before his enlightenment, while he was still searching for truth and understanding. Rather than portraying the Buddha as a noble or divine figure, this painting reveals a humbler, human side of Shakyamuni as he crouches on the ground beside a stack of books with his head and arms resting contemplatively on his knees. Images of the Buddha in this pose first appeared in China during the Yuan dynasty (1279-1367) and were associated with the Chan (Zen) school of Buddhism that advocated more individualistic paths to enlightenment.

Object Type
Painting