Stone Panel Entreaty of Buddha to Preach
Lot 5
A green schist relief panel of the Entreaty to Preach Swat Region, late 1st/early 2nd century C.E.
US$ 20,000 - 30,000
£12,000 - 19,000

Lot Details
A green schist relief panel of the Entreaty to Preach
Swat Region, late 1st/early 2nd century C.E.
Beautifully carved with Buddha seated under the broad spade-like leaves of the Ficus religiosa, his hands resting in dhyana mudra. His enlightened countenance embellished with shallow incisions delineating Buddha's urna, irises, and beard. Deeper incisions define the ribbed folds of his heavy robe draping from his left shoulder over his knees and splaying in sharp stylized angles over his cushioned pedestal. With arms raised in anjali mudra, two flanking male worshipers wearing dhotis entreat the Buddha to preach his enlightened insights. A third diminutive figure stands in the top right corner, his right arm raised.
11 1/4 x 10 in. (28.9 x 25.4 cm)

Footnotes

  • This is an excellent example of the scene rendered in the rarer green schist. Although the diminutive figures have received some damage as the piece has moved through history, the focal points are luckily well-preserved and the composition is remarkably compact didactically.

    As noted by Jongeward in discussion of the present lot, "a group of sculptures from Butkara in Swat Valley, Pakistan have also been attributed pre-Kushan dates. According to van Lohuizen de Leeuw, Butkara depictions of Shakyamuni in a seated posture under the Bodhi tree may be the earliest sculptural images of the Buddha to be found in Gandhara. She ascribed an early 1st century date to the sculptures, and traced the inspiration for their designs to Indian sources. The supple muscular forms and heavy bunched robe of the sanghati at the shoulder are directly connected to Indian norms and lack the Hellenistic elements.

    For further discussion of the ongoing debate with regard to the origin of the Buddha image see J.E. van Lohuizen de Leeuw, "New Evidence with Regard to the Origin of the Buddha Image", in South Asian Archaeology, Ed Herbert Härtel, Berlin, 1979, pp. 377–400, fig. 32, figs. 6-7 with same leaves.

    Compare with a closely related example sold by Christie's, London, June 16, 1987, lot 371. Also compare with another in Shoshin Kuwayama, The Exhibition of Gandharan Art of Pakistan, Japan, 1984, nos 1-13, p. 226, illus. p. 33, and another in Stanley Abe, Ordinary Images, Chicago, 2002, no. 2.7, p. 22. Another in Lahore museum (1634), see Chantal Fabregues, "The Indo-Parthian Beginnings of Gandharn Sculpture", in Bulletin of of the Asia Institute, vol. I, 1978, pp. 33-43, fig. 11.

    Published:
    Isao Kurita, Gandharan Art Vol. I, Buddha's Life Story, Tokyo, 1988. p. 246.
    David Jongeward, Buddhist Art of Pakistan and Afghanistan the the Royal Ontario Museum Collection of Gandhara Art, Toronto, 2003, fig 19.

    Provenance:
    Private Collection Japan, before 1988
    Private American Collection
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