19th Century Antique Japanese Edo Zensai Doji Sudhana Shancai Bronze Buddha Statue 善財童子
Antique Japanese Lacquered Bronze Statue
Zenzai Doji 善財童子
Shancai Reading Heart Sutra
Circa: Edo Period, 19th Century and earlier
H 10 in.(25cm), W 9.5 in.(24cm), D 8 in.(20cm)
Condition: replaced sutra, corrosion, lacquer loss and missing koro!
The story of Zenzai Doji as a youth in searches for the teachings of the Buddha was first described in the Kegon Kyo Sutra in the 3rd century. On his fifty-three pilgrimages, he encountered fifty-five saints and sages, then ultimately attained spiritual enlightenment and became a bodhisattva. Zenzai Doji is often depicted as Nezha (哪吒) the Red Boy (Sudhana), or the Golden Boy, an acolyte of Kannon Bosatsu (Guanyin Bodhisattva). An account of Sudhana is detailed in the classic Journey to the West.
The stance of this charming depiction of Zenzai Doji is lively and naturalistic, he is dressed in scholar garments seated by a rock, whose eyes gazed downward studying with a sutra scroll in hands, eyes, and brows are fine and expressive, facial features are realistically represented to be an individualistic portraiture of the youthful immortal, pose in a distinctive composition with fleshiness and movements, in fluid contours the figure is rendered to perfection without any of the decorative patterns. The bronze shows a few small patches of hardened corrosion, particularly around the back and indented areas, a partial surface of burgundy red lacquer has faded into gray. An original patina varies from bronze color to tint of lacquer red in the front of the figure, with dusty incrustation remains on the surface throughout, the aged statue was likely excavated from below ground at one point. Presuming that a small koro was once above the rock to his right is now lost. Overall this impressive rare bronze is in fair and good condition.