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Lot 1405: Gandharan Seated Buddha
December 8, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: 2nd-4th century AD. A carved schist figure of Buddha seated cross-legged on a dais with nimbus to the rear of the head, right hand raised in mudra of reassurance; mounted on a custom-made stand. See Behrendt, K. The Art of Gandhara in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2007. 2 kg, 25.5cm including stand (10"). From an important London collection, acquired in the 1990s. The depiction of the Buddha seated and holding a corner of his robes is one of the oldest to come from Gandharan art. The principal episodes in the life of the Buddha are evoked by gestures of the hands which later became codified in Buddhist art and literature. The image of the Buddha seated and with hand raised in Abhaya Mudra or the dispelling of fear gesture, and with the other hand grasping the corners of his robes, relates to the episode in the life of the Buddha immediately after he had gained enlightenment. After he had gained enlightenment underneath the Bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya, it is said that the gods descended to Earth to beg the Buddha to spread his teachings. After listening to the gods, the Buddha raised his hand to gesture to the gods not to fear and that he was ready, and also held the corners of his robe so that he could rise from his position of meditation. In this sculpture his enlightenment is indicated by the serene look upon his face and the nimbus behind his head.
Condition Report: Fine condition.