A black stone figure of emaciated Buddha Ancient Region of Gandhara, 2nd/3rd century
Lot 23
A black stone figure of emaciated Buddha Ancient Region of Gandhara, 2nd/3rd century
Sold for US$ 47,500 inc. premium

Lot Details
A black stone figure of emaciated Buddha
Ancient Region of Gandhara, 2nd/3rd century
Finely carved revealing the ribcage, the web of tendons around the neck, and his face with gaunt cheeks and deep-set eyes, his hair falling in matted locks over the ushnisha, seated in dhyanasana on grass over a pedestal, his sanghati barely supported by his elbows and pleated across his lap.
4 1/2 in. (11.6 cm) high

Footnotes

  • Depicting both Siddartha's absolute accomplishment in ascetic practices as well as their horrific futility, images of the emaciated Buddha refer to the end of the six years Siddhartha spent in the Uruvela forest learning from, surpassing, and then renouncing the leading ascetic practices of his time for their inability to deliver spiritual enlightenment. Here Buddha sits in meditation at the brink of death through excessive fasting. Upon his recovery, he pronounced the famed doctrine of the 'Middle Way' to enlightenment between the extremes of austerities and sensual indulgence.

    Compare with another small torso of the emaciated Buddha, also formerly in the Samuel Eilenberg Collection in the Metropolitan Museum, 1987.218.5.

    Provenance:
    Samuel Eilenberg
    Private American Collection
    On loan to the Ashmolean Museum 1996-2001
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