This is a bronze sculpture of an Arhat. Seated in
lotus posture, the Arhat holds his both hands in
front of his chest. He has a bald or shaved
head, with a middle-aged facial appearance.
Wearing a simple long sanghati, his facial
expression is serene and contemplative. His
hand gesture is hidden by his sleeves.
Arhats are the historical disciples of the
Buddha. As with the passage of time Buddhist
tradition developed, and especially in and
among the East Asian Buddhist countries, the
original number of Arhats was characterised by
a propensity to increase, and at least the most
important of them were regarded almost as
bodhisattvas or fully enlightened beings, with a
wide range of supernatural powers. According
to the standard Buddhist tradition, groups of 16,
18 or 500 luohans awaited the arrival of
Maitreya, the Future Buddha, and such groups
were very often re-created in various mediums
in East Asian Buddhist art.
This sculpture has an assuring physical
presence due to its considerable mass.