Gilt Bronze Standing Buddha, Goguryeo, Three Kingdoms Period, 6th Century

Size: height:18.6cm; width of the mandorla: 9.4cm, base diameter: 7.3cm

This truly fine and beautiful gilt bronze standing Buddha complete with a flaming mandorla and the lotus base is a rare example of the earliest known Korean gilt bronze Buddhist statue from early 6th Century.  The single cast statue depicts the Buddha standing with his hands shown in teaching positions.  Its facial feature and style of robe are reminiscent of China's Northern Wei Period Buddhist sculpture. The flaming mandorla is covered with finely carved shallow groove of swirling flames unique for early Korean mandorla. The Buddha stands on a base with lotus petal sitting on a circular pedestal.    The entire surface is covered with rich gilt which remains virtually intact with only minor wear.   A smaller (16.2cm) gilt bronze Buddha with basically the same shape and design as the present example is in the National Museum of Korea Collection (Korean National Treasure No. 119). It was excavated in 1963 and bears an inscription dating it to 539 A.D. of the Three Kingdom Period of Gogureo area.  It is considered the earliest dated Korean Buddhist statue.  As compared to the dated example in Korea, this gilt bronze buddha is larger in size which allowed the sculptor to present the sensitive standing Buddha in finer details. 

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