The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s description of "Pensive Bodhisattva" tells us that "Images... became prevalent in East Asia between the fifth and eighth centuries. In Korea, the type emerged as an important Buddhist icon during the sixth and seventh centuries, particularly in the kingdoms of Baekje and Silla. This seated figure is among the best-preserved examples. It is infused with a subtle yet palpable energy that is articulated in such details as the pliant and lifelike fingers and toes. His crown is topped with an orb-and-crescent motif, indicating Central Asian influence."
The Metropolitan’s Arts of Korea gallery, home to this “masterpiece”, was established in 1998 to present “the many facets of Korea's distinctive cultural and artistic traditions”.