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

Southeast Asian Collection

Accession Nr.: 56.88.1
Type: sculpture; religious or cult object; lacquers
Date of production:
early 19th century
Place of production:
Materials/Techniques: bronze, lacquered, gilt, painted
Dimensions: height: 50.2 cm
Buddha statue on a three-tiered lotus throne, with both of his hands in the gesture of the abhaya mudra (a hand gesture to dispel the fear of death). This hand gesture, aslo called "Calming the Ocean" (or the Waves) is a reference to the occasion when the Buddha prevented the Niranjana River from causing a flood.

Thai Buddhist altars often feature a pair of statues side by side or on either side of the main figure with the hand gestures of 'dispelling fear' and 'Calming the Ocean'. The pair of this figure is also in our collection ( HFM_56.87.1 ).

The mudras are symbolic hand gestures, partly derived from Indian yoga exercises and partly from the hand gestures of dance dramas of the same origin.
The protuberance of the sculpture in the picture lacks the tongue flame of traditional representations.