Standing Buddha with hands in the gesture of 'Calming the Ocean'

Southeast Asian Collection

Accession Nr.: 56.85.1
Type: sculpture; religious or cult object; lacquers
Date of production:
18th century
Place of production:
Materials/Techniques: bronze, lacquered, gilt, painted
Dimensions: height: 84.2 cm
This gilt, slender, standing Buddha figure greets the viewer with his hands raised in the characteristic "Calming the Ocean" gesture (Skt. abhaya mudra). The three-tiered lotus pedestal narrowing from bottom to top was attached to the statue somewhat later, presumably from the 19th century.

The hand gesture of "Calming the Ocean" (or the Waves) is a reference to the occasion when the Buddha prevented the Niranjana River from causing a flood. The undergarment (Pali: antaravasaka) of the Buddhist monk's costume tightly follows the outline of the body; the lower hem of the undergarment is below that of the robe and the upper part of it can be seen as a wide stripe around the waist. The lower hem of the upper garment (Pali: uttarasanga) worn covering the left shoulder is forming slight curves. The third part of the monk's costume, the shoulder-cloth (Pali: sanghatí) descends as a narrow band to the navel and along the whole robe at the back. Typical northern Thai features of the current represenation are the long, protruding ears and the closed eyes with high arched eyebrows above.