The present depiction of Buddha as an ascetic shows him prior to his enlightenment, before discovering the Middle Path. Two Yuan dynasty sculptures of the Buddha as an ascetic in a similar pose, in wood and dry lacquer, respectively, are illustrated in Comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue of Chinese Buddhist Statues in Overseas Collection, vol. 7, Beijing, 2005, p. 1420, in The Detroit Institute of Arts; and pp. 1418-19, in the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. A similar figure of the ascetic Buddha, although in bronze, is illustrated by W. Cox in Chinese Buddhist Bronzes, Tokyo, 1967, no. 122, where it is dated to the Ming dynasty.