Figure of infant Buddha

This image of a standing infant Buddha is carved in wood, and finished with red and gold paint. The iconography represents the legend of Prince Siddhartha's birth after which he was immediately able to walk and speak. He took seven steps in each cardinal direction and proclaimed, "I am the only Venerable One in all of Heaven and Earth". The mudra or gesture of the left hand pointing upwards and the right pointing down to the earth is thought to represent his staking his claim to the universe.Gilded figures of standing infant Buddha Shakyamuni are popular in Mahayana Buddhist temples in north Vietnam. Such figures are placed on temple altars, sometimes situated beneath an arch formed by two rising dragons. They are also carried in processions to mark Vesak Day.

Early 20th century
Hanoi, North Vietnam
Object size: H:12.6 x W:6.4 x D:4.7 cm
Accession No.
Wood, lacquer, gilding
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum

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