This magnificent example from north China is constructed of removable wooden sections that still retain traces of original pigment. The sculptural style is naturalistic, detailed, and fully three-dimensional. Several sections of the robes exhibit fine textile patterns executed in gold leaf, the eyes are inlaid crystal, and the original painted mustache is still clearly evident. The image is attired in the sumptuous silk garments and gold jewelry befitting a bodhisattva. The elaborate hairstyle was originally encased by a gilt metal crown now missing.
Seated cross-legged in the lotus position (padmasana), both hands turn up with thumbs touching the middle fingers in the gesture of discourse or argumentation (varada mudra). Carved during the last creative epoch of Chinese Buddhist sculpture, this splendidly attired image expresses the new humanism of the day while capturing the gentle, benign calm of near enlightenment.