Standing Shakyamuni Buddha

19th century

Object Place: Tibet


75 x 49 cm (29 1/2 x 19 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Distemper and gold on cotton, mounted with silk brocades and cotton backing with wood dowels

Not On View





Painting in hanging scroll (thangka) format, with no streamers or veil.

Shakyamuni stands with his right hand in abhaya mudra and his left hand in varada mudra. He wears long, highly-stylized robes and is surrounded by a halo of golden foliate design, apparently inlaid with gemstones. He stands on a lotus which arises out of a pond. He is surrounded by jeweled tress, rocks, and mountains. Above are apsarases with offerings. Borders painted in yellow and red. Unusual Buddha figure and halo treatment may represent a celebrated icon, perhaps from India (which would be in keeping with the stylized folds of the garment). One such icon, carved from sandalwood, was brought to Tibet in the 9th or 10th century.


On reverse, in red paint, in Tibetan: "Om, ah, hum" three times behind central Buddha


1921, William Sturgis Bigelow, Boston, MA; 1921, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 7, 1921)

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection