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Travelling Shrine with Stupa and Arhats

Artist/maker unknown, Tibetan

Made in Tibet, Asia

Medieval Period

c. 14th century

Boxwood (shrine) and fir wood (doors), pigment, gold leaf, copper alloy

21 1/4 x 9 5/8 x 4 inches (54 x 24.4 x 10.2 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Stella Kramrisch Fund, 1999

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The central figure of the shrine, Shakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, makes the “earth-touching” gesture with his right hand, calling the earth to witness his enlightenment, while his left hand rests in his lap in the gesture of meditation, holding a begging bowl. Surrounding Shakyamuni are his disciples, the arhats, as well as his principal students, Shariputra and Maudgalyayana, both standing next to him holding a bowl and a mendicant’s staff. The interiors of the shrine doors depict armor-clad protectors of the four cardinal directions, while the exterior is decorated with a stupa, a symbol of the Buddha’s enlightened mind.