Cosmological Buddha

Seated Buddha of the Esoteric Sect

Liao dynasty
Early 11th century


95.25 cm (37 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Carved marble with remains of pigment

On View

Paul and Helen Bernat Galleries (Gallery 271)






In a letter from Clarence F. Shangraw, Asian Art Consultant, San Francisco, Chief Curator Emeritus, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (AAMSF), Director Emeritus, Tsui Museum of Art, Hong Kong, dated July 5th, 1997:
‘first encountered [the sculpture] at the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, in 1964...having been purchased much earlier.'

Transferred from the de Young Museum to the AAMSF in 1969 by SF Municipal Ordinance, when the de Young Museum was merged with the Asian Art Museum.

As the AAMSF already had a similar sculpture in the Avery Brundage Collection, the AAMSF deaccessioned the sculpture in 1972 and sold it at public auction at Sotheby Parke Bernet, October 17-18, 1974, lot 315.

In a letter from Marty Webster, Ann Arbor, Michigan, August 6, 1996, the sculpture had been in a private Michigan collection since the 1974 sale. The collector had the sculpture on indefinite loan to the Flint Institute of Arts, Flint Michigan until its sale to the MFA/B in September 1997. Marty Webster acted as agent to the collector.

Credit Line

Charles Bain Hoyt Fund