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IN014 – Meditating Buddha Shakyamuni

Christie’s Title:
A FINE GREY SCHIST FIGURE OF BUDDHA SHAKYAMUNI
GANDHARA, 2ND/3RD CENTURY

Provenance:
Hong Kong collection since the late 1970’s
Acquired in the early 2000 by the present American owner
Sold in Christie’s Art d’Asie, Paris, 12 June 2012, as lot 306 to BTRTM.

Description:
This statue is a rare, almost unblemished specimen of Gandharan arts.

At a height of 65cm, the statue displays Buddha Shakyamuni with a chipped halo behind the head, in the dhyana or meditation posture with His right hand on top of His left, palms facing upwards.

He sits with a straight back and legs in the full vajra posture with His eyes half-closed, gazing straight ahead but slightly lower.

He has long earlobes and wavy hair on His head and His ushnisha. His robes features distinctive U shapes folds characteristic of Candana Buddha or Udayana Buddha (see Standing Buddha Maitreya [CN111]), draping from His shoulders. An urna is found between His eyebrows. With slightly chubby facial features, He purses His lips which form a subtly gentle smiling expression.

Supported in each corner by a Ionic column, the rectangular throne’s surface replicates the wavy patterns found in His hair and ushnisha.

In the middle of its façade is carved a bas-relief panel, executed in alto-rilievo, showing a smaller image of Him, most probably before His enlightenment, seated in exactly the same manner as the main statue but in princely garments with two ordained worshippers on His right and two lay worshippers on His left. All four figures stand and prostrate towards the Buddha in the middle, with their hands in the añjali mudra. The panel is framed by a curtain backdrop whose folds echo those of the seated Buddha above, with concentric drapes bordered on both sides by straight, angular folds.

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