Buddha Sakyamuni seated on a lotus throne, Sui dynasty, ca 600 AD. Gilded bronze, height 13 cm. National Gallery of Prague, Vp 1821.

Small bronze votive sculptures were predominantly made for use in home shrines and facilitated the spread of Buddhist iconography throughout the Chinese territory. In the beginning, they mostly portrayed the historical Buddha Shakyamuni. However, the form of the statues changed with the developing Buddhist doctrine and the classic arrangement with a single figure of the seated Buddha was later replaced by more intricate settings. Apart from the historical Buddha, mostly Maitreia – the Buddha of the Future – and Amitabha, who was believed to reign over the Buddhist Paradise called The Pure Land, were depicted.