Teaching Buddha Pin's
Teaching Buddha, making the gesture of preaching - Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) - Paris, Musée Guimet, National Museum of Asian Arts
The restrained, remarkably refined, and profoundly meditative figure of this "teaching Buddha", ranks not only as one of the finest Buddhist representations but illustrates the embryonic development of the specific esthetic approach of the Koryo period (918-1392 CE). The technique, unconstrained by a certain rigidity and hieratic attitude that to a certain extent dominated the Unified Silla period (668-918 CE), has become much more flexible and fluid, displaying a genuine concern for realism and humanization. The pliant quality of wood, imitating the appearance and rendering of gilded metal, allowed for greater naturalism and facilitated the flowing treatment of the robe. The gentle, pure figure with its high bust, slim waist, very slightly arched shoulders and elongated face conforms to an increasingly refined canon of taste. On his headdress, the Buddha is wearing a half-shell of the kind which appeared during the Koryo period and which is also found in Chinese images from the Liao dynasty (916-1125 CE).