Plaque with Crowned Buddha

Nepal, Shah period (1768-2008), 19th century

Wood plaque, copper, gilt, gilt wire, and jewels, including pearls, garnets, turquoise, and gemstones

24½ × 20½ × 3 in. (62.2 × 52.1 × 7.6 cm)


Object Description

Nepalese art bears the strong imprint of the Newari people, a minority community concentrated in the Kathmandu Valley. The Newars, followers of both Hinduism and Buddhism, were highly skilled and creative metalsmiths, woodcarvers, sculptors, and painters. Their devotional objects were in demand in Tibet and China as well as Nepal. The style, known for youthful, sensuous bodies, sharp facial features, and elegant ornaments and jewelry, influenced religious arts throughout the entire Himalayan region.


This devotional plaque features a crowned Buddha seated in the posture of meditation in a densely foliated jungle setting. It displays intricate craftsmanship and unabashed love of ornament. Using detail shared with Newari jewelry—variously colored stones picking out floral motifs—the plaque is intended to be hung. Decorative plaques such as this one and several others in the museum’s collection were used as architectural embellishments in Nepalese temples. They might designate a miniature shrine within a temple or serve as a personal votive object.



UTD Location Information: The Edith O’Donnell Arts & Technology Building was built to house the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication. In addition to the 1,200-seat lecture hall and classrooms, the building contains art studio spaces, research labs, a motion capture lab, and art exhibitions.

Letter: M

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