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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Standing Buddha

Photo: Paul Macapia

Standing Buddha

mid to late 7th century

The earliest representations of the Buddha in human form originated in India in the first century A.D., and from there spread beyond the subcontinent to the rest of Asia. Certain conventional postures, gestures and attributes became associated with diverse Buddhist images and remained relatively constant despite wide regional and stylistic variations. A distinctive culture called Dvaravati, or sometimes Mon-Dvaravati, emerged in central Thailand between the 7th and 9th centuries. The quintessential Dvaravati Buddhist icon, as seen in Seattle’s exquisite example, was characterized by a standing figure wearing a robe that covered both shoulders, as he performed a gesture of instruction (vitarkamudra) made with both hands, now missing. The source for the Mon-Dvaravati type can be traced back to the Sarnath style of sculpture of Gupta-period India (320-500). The expression of the Dvaravati type however, is unique, with a broad, flat face, full, upturned lips and strongly arched brows.
44 x 18 x 7 in.
Thomas D. Stimson Memorial Collection and Hagop Kevorkian
Photo: Paul Macapia
Now on view at the Asian Art Museum


Exhibition HistoryChampaign, Illinois, Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Art of India and Southeast Asia, 1964.

San Francisco, California, Golden Gate International Exposition, 1939.

Los Angeles, California, Los Angeles County Museum, Art of Greater India, 1950.

New York, New York, Asia Society, Masterpieces of Asian Art in American Collections, 1960.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle World's Fair, Fine Arts Pavilion, Art of the Ancient East, 1962.

Vancouver, British Columbia, Vancouver Art Gallery, Distant Reverence: Buddhist Sculpture from the Seattle Art Museum, Aug. 16 - Oct. 22, 1989.

Tokyo, Japan, Suntory Museum of Art, Luminous Jewels: Masterpieces of Asian Art From the Seattle Art Museum, July 25 - Sept. 6, 2009 (Kobe, Japan, Kobe City Museum, Sept. 19 - Dec. 6, 2009; Kofu, Japan, Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art, Dec. 23, 2009 - Feb. 28, 2010; Atami, Japan, MOA Museum of Art, Mar. 13 - May 9, 2010; Fukuoka, Japan, Fukuoka Art Museum, May 23 - July 19, 2010).

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Luminous: The Art of Asia, Oct. 13, 2011 - Jan. 8, 2012.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Boundless: Stories of Asian Art, Feb. 8, 2020 - ongoing.
Published ReferencesKawai, Masatomo, Yasuhiro Nishioka, Yukiko Sirahara, editors. "Luminous Jewels: Masterpieces of Asian Art From the Seattle Art Museum". 2009, The Yomiuri Shimbun, catalogue number 95

"Seattle Art Museum: Bridging Cultures." London: Scala Publishers Ltd. for the Seattle Art Museum, 2007, pp. 72-72, illus. p. 72

"Selected Works." Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 1991, p. 152

Trubner, Henry. "Asian Art in the Seattle Art Museum: Fifty Years of Collecting." Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 1983, p. 7, illus. b&w

Czuma, Stanislaw. "Mon-Dvāravatī Buddha," in The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art, Vol. 67, No. 7 (September 1980), pp. 228-239, p. 230, fig. 3

Lee, Sherman. "A History of Far Eastern Art." Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc. and New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1973, no. 139, p. 120

"Sacred Arts," Expo Museum of Fine Arts, Osaka, (1970), pl. III-10, p. 23

Sullivan, Michael. "Chinese and Japanese Art," (1965), p. 28, A

Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, "Art Of India And Southeast Asia," cat. (1964), p. 50, no. 69, ill.

"Preview," KLSN Program & Fine Arts Guide (Sept. 1961), p. 7

Asia Society, "Masterpieces of Asian Art in American Collections," cat., (1960), no. 27, ill. p. 44 (unnumbered)

"Art News," January 1960, p. 35

Rowland, B. "Art & Architecture of India," (1953), p. 248, pl. 154

Trubner, Henry. "Oriental Art," Vol. 111, No. 1 (1950), p. 34

"Handbook, Seattle Art Museum: Selected Works from the Permanent Collections." Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 1951, p. 40 (b&w)

Los Angeles County Museum. "Art of Greater India," cat., (1950), no. 156, p. 97 and figure

S.A.M. "Annual Report, 1946," (1946), p. 7, frontispiece

Fuller, Richard E. Seattle Art Museum (brochure). Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 1946, p. 18

Golden Gate International Exposition. "Pacific Cultures," cat., (1939), pl. 108

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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