Korean Buddhist Bodhisattva Bronze Statue

Korean Buddhist Bronze Bodhisattva Buddha Statue



Commonly referred to as the 'Pensive Treasure', the 'Contemplative Bodhisattva', or the 'Gilt-Bronze Seated Maitreya' in English, the original Maitreya Bodhisattva Buddha Statue is the National Treasure of Korea No. 83, and the original Geumdong Mireuk Bosal Bangasayusang is located in the National Museum of Korea in Seoul, South Korea.

Originally commissioned by the South Korean Government for the Korean Art 5000 Exhibition (5000 Years of Korean Art) in 1976, 20 full-size official replicas of the Korean Maitreya Bodhisattva Buddha Statue were reproduced by the finest Bronze craftsmen in all of South Korea. 18 of the Maitreya Bodhisattva Bronze statues went to the South Korean Government for display in official government buildings, or were purchased by Private Collectors in South Korea. The last two of the statues were purchased by a Private Collector who brought them to the United States in the 1970s. 

One of the two officially commissioned authentic replicas of the Maitreya Bodhisattva in the United States is now located in the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles, California, and the other is located in our Koreana Gifts and Arts Showroom in Los Angeles, California. 

The Geumdong Mireuk Bosal Bangasayusang is believed to be one of the finest Buddhist sculptures ever produced, a masterpiece of both ancient Korean and Buddhist Art. The Maitreya Bodhisattva is believed to have originated in the Korean Kingdom of Silla, and was produced in the early 7th century out of pure Bronze that was then Gold plated. 

The Maitreya Bodhisattva is seated on a round pedestal, it’s right leg is crossed over it's left knee with the right hand touching it's right cheek, and the left hand resting on the crossed right leg. While Chinese versions of the Maitreya Bodhisattva Statue have stiff, highly stylized drapery, the Korean Maitreya Bodhisattva features flowing and realistic drapery. The slender graceful figure of the Maitreya Bodhisattva suggests Korean Baekje Kingdom influences, but the bridge line, the sharp nose, and the realistically flowing drapery indicate that the original Korean Maitreya Bodhisattva was probably cast by Bronze Artists from the Korean Kingdom of Silla. The Korean Maitreya Bodhisattva is perfectly proportioned, unlike other Maitreya Bodhisattva Statues which are often highly stylized or distorted. There is a true harmony that exists between the lower half and the upper half of the statue, indicative of the attention to detail and realistic proportions. The Maitreya has a simple tri-fold crown, and is bare chested, adding to the sense of calm meditation the statue exudes. 

The Geumdong Mireuk Bosal Bangasayusang is such an integral part of Korean culture and history, that the Korean people have chosen this one Buddha to cherish and revere over all the other Buddhas. The Maitreya Bodhisattva, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, is such an intimate part of the Korean people, that they affectionately call her "Miss Mercy". 

The Maitreya is a Bodhisattva, not a true Buddha. She chose to forsake Nirvana, and return to Earth to help others reach Nirvana. The Maitreya will eventually attain Nirvana, but not until five and one half billion years has past, and she has helped all other living creatures to find Enlightenment. 

The original Korean Geumdong Mireuk Bosal Bangasayusang is considered priceless, and is insured for an estimated 100 Billion Won by the South Korean Government. It is the single most valuable National Treasure of Korea in the National Museum of Korea in Seoul. 

The original Korean Geumdong Mireuk Bosal Bangasayusang was displayed at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art in the 1980s. Denise Patry Leidy, Curator, Department of Asian Art; and So Young Lee, Associate Curator, Department of Asian Art; wrote a wonderful article for the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art Website called "A Pensive Treasure" which is available online. 

"Also known as National Treasure 83, the Bodhisattva is seated with his right leg crossed over his left, and the fingers of his right hand gently touching his cheek. This combination of posture and gesture, a pan-Asian iconography known as the "pensive pose," became popular in Korea in the sixth and seventh centuries, influenced particularly by prototypes in Chinese Buddhist art of the mid-sixth century.Unlike Buddhas, the ultimate enlightened beings who have transcended mortal concerns, Bodhisattvas have chosen to remain accessible to help and guide others in the phenomenal world. Particularly in Korea and Japan, Bodhisattvas in the "pensive pose" are usually identified as Maitreya (彌勒), a bodhisattva in the cosmic era who will become the teaching Buddha of the next great period of time. Maitreya was one of the more popular Bodhisattvas in East Asia from the fifth to the seventh century." - New York Metropolitan Museum of Art

"Maitreya's compassion and understanding are elegantly embodied in the beautifully cast National Treasure 83. His quietude and peace is shown in his sublime facial features like the downcast eyes and in the simple contours of his upper body. His continuing engagement with the world is embodied in the subtle movement of his fingers, the charmingly upturned toes of the right foot, and the lively folds of his drapery." - New York Metropolitan Museum of Art

This is an extremely rare item, and it is the only one in the entire world that is for sale. None of the other official South Korean replicas of the Geumdong Mireuk Bosal Bangasayusang will ever be for sale. 

The Maitreya Bodhisattva is 36-1/4 inches tall and weights approximately 375 pounds. The statue is solid bronze except for the pedestal seat which is hollow with 3 to 4 inch thick walls exactly like the original Geumdong Mireuk Bosal Bangasayusang. 

This is a consignment piece and we will submit reasonable offers to the owner.

Freight Shipping is required due to the size and weight of the Maitreya Bodhisattva. 
International Freight Shipping is available.

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