Memory, Memento, and Sacred Bond

Votive Plaque with Seated and Standing Buddhas

  • 80
  • Myanmar/Burma, Pagan
  • Second half 11th century
  • Terracotta
  • H. 8 x W. 6 x D. 2 3/4 in. (20.3 x 15.2 x 7 cm)
  • Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, The Avery Brundage Collection, F2003.34.23.1
  • Shwegugyi Pagoda
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Votive tablets like this one were stamped into a thick slab of clay with a mold, leaving a wide rim. The Buddhist creed (the essence of the Buddha's teachings, reduced to a stanza concerning the nature of causation) is often incised in northern Indian letters at the bottom. On the back of many tablets, the name of the donor was incised while the clay was still wet. On this tablet, the central Buddha is shown at the moment of his victory over the demon Mara at the enlightenment site below a shorthand representation of the Mahabodhi Temple.

PHOTO CREDIT: © Asian Art Museum Foundation, San Francisco. Used by permission

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