Description: Gupta Period, 4th-6th century AD. A red sandstone figure of the Buddha with large halo decorated with scrolling plants, rosettes and birds, and with two naked apsaras to the top; the Buddha has hair pulled into a top knot, elongated ears, urna to the centre of the eyebrows, and long monastic robes clinging to the body and with the folds prominently carved; the left hand is holding the hem of the robes and the right is held up in blessing; to either side of the Buddha are kneeling figures praying; base decorated with three lions, one facing frontally, two to the corners facing out; mounted on a custom-made stand, 12.2 kg, 61cm including stand (24"). From an important London collection, acquired in the 1990s. The Gupta period is noted as a time during which the quintessential Buddha image was created, becoming an iconic form which was disseminated and copied throughout the Asian Buddhist world. Gupta style stands at a crossroads in art historical developments in the sub-continent. The Gupta style embodies the earlier figurative styles of North and North West India, such as Mathura and Gandhara, while achieving a new power and sophistication. It is noted for the full, sensuous modelling of faces and bodies, for a subtlety of expression and for the harmonious proportions of its figures. During these centuries the workshops at Sarnath, a monastic complex built on the site of the Buddha's first sermon, became especially artistically influential. A particular type of standing Buddha image was produced here whose body is covered by a diaphanous robe, which clings to the figure while flaring at the sides. This was to become the prototype for a multitude of later images including the Radiant Buddha.
Condition Report: Very fine condition.
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