Buddha

Buddha, c.1880-1900
Sculptor unattributed
Stone, alabaster
:A446
© Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum

Yellow Room 

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Buddha, c.1880-1900

A reclining Buddha is a major iconographic theme in Buddhist art, like this example from Burma. It represents Buddha during his last illness when he was aged 80, about to enter the parinirvana (nirvana-after-death). Reclining Buddha sculptures are not supposed to induce sadness in followers but rather should be taken as an object of encouragement that all beings have the potential to be awakened or enlightened and release themselves from the suffering which is characterised by the cycle of rebirth. The serene and smiling expression of the Buddha portrays the compassion and calmness that comes with enlightenment.

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