Standing healing Buddha
This small exquisite bronze is a unique example of an early eight century rendition of Yakushi, the healing Buddha. Yakushi was popular in Japan from the second half of the seventh century for the belief that the image was able to cure various illnesses such as small-pox that periodically ravaged the country. The rather plump face, narrow forehead, gracefully curving arcs of the eyebrows, narrow eyes and small lips are all characteristic of sculpture dating to the Hakuho era in the later seventh century. However, the facial expression of this sculpture reveals introspection and more naturalistic features, suggesting that it dates to the early eighth century.
Nicole Rousmaniere, 1997