Decorative Asian Works of Art / A SMALL GILT-BRONZE PLAQUE IN THE FORM OF AMITABHA BUDDHA Joseon dynasty, 15th/16th century
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The youthful features, symmetrical folds in the drapery, hand positions and meditative pose of this diminutive seated figure compare favorably to those of a larger gilt-bronze seated figure of Avalokiteshvara in the Chuncheon National Museum, ascribed to the 14th-15th century: see Jan Van Alphen (et al.), The Smile of Buddha: 1600 Years of Buddhist Art in Korea, Brussels, Palais des Beaux-arts, 2008, no. 93, pp 242-243 (reportedly from Cheolwon, 32cm high). Similar features of face and clothing also appear in the bronze Amitabha triad in the Cleveland Museum of Art, included in Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art of the Korean Renaissance, 1400-1600, New York, 2009, cat. no. 13, discussed on pp 34-35 and p. 101 (also attributed to the 15th century). Owing to the popularity of Amitabha images alone or in triads during the early Joseon period, it is possible that this plaque could have been part of such a group.