This massive image of Amitayus from the 11th or 12th century presents this Buddha of limitless life and pristine awareness in a celestial Pureland. He sits in meditation holding a "kalasha" (vase) filled with the "amrita" (nectar of immortality) and is surrounded by bodhisattvas and other celestial beings. The style of this work strongly relates to wall paintings from the site of Drathang.
Head of Buddha, 7th century. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Gift of Doris Wiener, 2005 (2005.512) | This over-life-size head of the Buddha is a testament to the grandeur of the monumental sculptural tradition in the Zhenla kingdom. The Buddha has a strong, broad face; lightly modeled eyelids and pupils; and full lips that turn up at the corners in a hint of a smile. #LostKingdoms
Buddha Preaching on Winged Grotesque with Attendants, 7th–early 8th century. Central Thailand. Lent by Chao Sam Phraya National Museum, Ayutthaya, Thailand (2/5CH) | Among the most enigmatic Buddhist icons created in the Dvaravati style in the seventh and eighth centuries are the triad scenes of the Buddha with two attendants preaching while riding through the air on a winged grotesque, as recounted in various texts. #LostKingdoms
This palm leaf manuscript illustration was done in the 12th century at one of the great monastic centers in North India. This Green Tara, shown bestowing boons, is only 2 ¼ inches tall. It is amazing how the artist has managed to subtly depict this dynamic figure in great detail. Such imagery went on to have a great impact on the emerging painting traditions of Tibet.
Stele with Eight Great Events from the Life of the Buddha, 10th century. India, Bihar, possibly from Nalanda. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. (2009.541) | Relief sculptures showing the great pilgrim sites take on increasing importance across north India. The most significant scene is the central Buddha touching the earth at the moment of his enlightenment under the Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya. Surrounding him are seven other scenes of his life. #Buddhism
Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara Amoghapasha, late 8th–early 9th century. Western Indonesia. Lent by a private collection. | In this eight-armed form, Avalokiteshvara is known as Amoghapasha, “he whose noose is unfailing,” after the noose (pasha) he uses to remove impediments to enlightenment. #LostKingdoms
Enthroned Buddha Vairocana, late 8th–9th century. Southern Thailand. Lent by National Museum, Bangkok, donated by Khun Phoomopayakkhet in 1927 | Lent by National Museum, Bangkok, donated by Khun Phoomopayakkhet in 1927. #LostKingdoms