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Buddha Vairocana

Buddha Vairocana

  • Place of origin:

    Tibet (made)

  • Date:

    1300-1400 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Copper alloy with inlaid copper and silver with traces of gilding

  • Credit Line:

    Donated by the Macpherson family

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is an early image of the Buddha Vairocana, one of the five transcendent Buddhas (Tathagatas) of the Indo-Tibetan Buddhist tradition. In Buddhist teachings which reached western Tibet from India during the 10th and 11th centuries Vairocana featured prominently and was of particular importance as the embodiment of Buddhahood. The image shows distinct Indian influence though created in Tibet. The lips, eyes, jewellery and robes of the image are skilfully inlaid with copper and silver.

Physical description

The buddha Vairocana seated on a lotus throne, cross legged in dhyanasana, two hands raised to chest level making the dharmachakra mudra (teaching gesture). The figure wears anklets, bracelets, armlets and a tall crown and is encircled by symmetrically looping scarves.

Place of Origin

Tibet (made)


1300-1400 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Copper alloy with inlaid copper and silver with traces of gilding


Height: 27 cm, Width: 20 cm, depth: 13

Object history note

Colllected by Major Robert N. Macpherson of the 40th Pathanns (Indian Army) during the 1903-04 British Expedition to Tibet. Donated after being on loan to the Museum since 1919 by Mr M.R.N. Macpherson grandson of the collector.

Descriptive line

Buddha Vairocana, bronze, Tibet, 14th century.


Copper alloy; Gilded



Subjects depicted



South & South East Asia Collection

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