Buddhism was founded in northern India in the 6th century B.C. by Shakyamuni Siddhartha, a prince from a small kingdom in the Himalayan foothills. Giving up the pleasures of the palace to seek the true purpose of life, Siddhartha sat down in yogic meditation beneath a banyan tree until he achieved enlightenment. He was known henceforth as the Buddha, or, "Enlightened One." The Museum's sculpture is a reproduction of an original bronze statue from Thailand from the late 15th-early 16th century. The statue shows Buddha seated in the cross-legged yogic posture of satvaparyankasana, the right leg placed over the left. His right hand is lowered, long fingers pointing downward in the earth-touching gesture, or, bhumisparshamudra. This sign symbolizes the triumph over the forces of the demon Mara, who attempted to distract Buddha from his quest for enlightenment, a common theme in Thai Buddhist art.
Made of bonded bronze (cold cast). "Cold-Cast" bronze (also referred to as "bonded bronze") is a product made from resin mixed/blended with 100% pure bronze powder to give it the appearance of the true bronze. It looks just as a "lost wax" bronze object does - both are bronzes. The cost for making a "lost wax" bronze statue is much greater than that of a "cold-cast" bronze statue. A sculpture made of "lost wax" bronze would be several times more expensive then made in cold cast bronze. Yet in either of the above materials, the casts (the final product made out of the mold) are made using the same rubber mold; which is taken from the original sculpture. Thus, the final result is exactly the same bronze sculpture, only made in a different bronze material. With the cold cast we still achieve the same bronze effect at much lower cost and thus is more affordable.
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