A superb bamboo figure of Vijraputra and Buddhist lion cub Mid Ming dynasty
Lot 315
A superb and exceptionally large bamboo figure of Vijraputra and Buddhist lion cub Mid Ming dynasty
HK$ 5 million - 8 million
US$ 640,000 - 1 million

Lot Details
A superb bamboo figure of Vijraputra and Buddhist lion cub Mid Ming dynasty A superb bamboo figure of Vijraputra and Buddhist lion cub Mid Ming dynasty A superb bamboo figure of Vijraputra and Buddhist lion cub Mid Ming dynasty A superb bamboo figure of Vijraputra and Buddhist lion cub Mid Ming dynasty A superb bamboo figure of Vijraputra and Buddhist lion cub Mid Ming dynasty
A superb and exceptionally large bamboo figure of Vijraputra and Buddhist lion cub
Mid Ming dynasty
The outstanding figure carved from a large section of bamboo trunk, the luohan of wide stature seated atop a finely carved basket-weaved cushion, his right leg crossed and left leg pendant, the right hand stretched backwards in support and the left hand holding a ball of yarn, the body adorned in loose flowing robes draping downwards in undulating folds, swung over his left shoulders revealing bare chest and exposed right arm, his face set in an expression of deep contemplation, framed by a large round bald head flanked by a pair of pendulous earlobes suspending earrings, a little Buddhist lion depicted playing mischievously on his lap, its head turned right bearing fierce expression and thick bushy eyes with opened jaws revealing sharp teeth, the protruding spine issuing a furry mane ending in a curly trifurcated tail.
19cm high.

Footnotes

  • Illustrated 出版:
    Arts of Asia, July-August 2005, vol.25 no.4, p.83

    Bamboo carving developed into a unique art form during the Ming dynasty, when the literati class learned to appreciate these curios within their studios. Professional bamboo artists no longer confined themselves, but devoted themselves fully to the study of literati art, including poetry, calligraphy, painting and seals, forming the perfect balance of scholarly knowledge and skilful craftsmanship. No matter whether the piece is landscape or figural, each and every piece of bamboo carving no longer shared the same boundaries of other commonly found bamboo pieces. The spirit of bamboo appreciation developed into its highest form, reflecting the individual taste, integrity and inner meanings fused within the artwork.

    The technique of literati bamboo carving flourished during the Ming and Qing dynasties when bamboo came to the attention of the Imperial court. The different styles of carving can be divided into three types: 'deep carving' represented by the Jiading School, 'light carving' established by Pu Cheng of Jinling School and the 'liuqing', or low relief method of carving.

    The current figure is outstanding for its sheer size, and the uttermost care has been taken by the master craftsman in bringing Vijraputra to life.


    明中期 竹雕笑獅羅漢坐像

    取竹子地下莖,圓雕羅漢坐於長方形藤墊之上。羅漢左手搭膝,手心握繡球一隻,右手自然下垂,手心反轉拄地,上身斜披濶袖長袍,露出右臂及一半背脊,背部及手 臂露出肌骨亦自然細緻雕刻而出。一蓬髮小獅爬於羅漢右腿之上,抱其胸間,其外表鎏金飾依稀可見。小獅昂首張口,玲瓏俏皮,右前足舉按在羅漢前胸,彷彿努力 抓取羅漢手中繡球。羅漢身體矯健魁梧,耳垂吊環,額頭高凸,雙目微視下方,雙唇緊閉,儀容莊嚴凜然。此器品相完好,刀法簡潔卻不失柔潤,為典型明代竹雕風格。

    笑獅羅漢即伐闍羅弗多羅尊者,梵語「Vajraputra」的音譯,根據唐代玄奘法師所翻譯的《法住記》排序,為十六羅漢中第八位尊者,與自眷屬千一百阿羅漢多分住在缽刺拏洲。相傳成道前為殺虎獵人,戒殺後有兩隻小獅走到身邊以示感激,成道後便將這兩隻小獅帶在身邊,所以世人稱之「笑獅羅漢」。傳說他往生以來便從不殺生,廣積善緣,修得五種不死福力。他雖然一生都無病痛,但他一直勤修經書,終日靜坐。據說笑獅羅漢博學多識,且暢說妙法,但他很難得說法,一次他的師兄阿難尊者詢問他為何不開方便之門暢說妙法,他回答:「話說多了,不一定受人歡迎,儘管你字字千金,卻往往令人反感。我在寂靜中可得法樂,希望大家也能如此。」因此他雖能言善辯,卻心清如水、毫無所求。

    中國是產竹豐富,亦是竹文化大國,竹在中國人物質及精神生活中佔有重要地位。在傳統文化中,竹常被賦予虛懷直接、堅貞不移的同時,又是隱逸的象徵,因此被視作「君子」並與文人逸士形成精密相聯。明代中後期,物產豐盛,商業發達,江南地區手工及文化藝術產業也隨之得以快速發展,成為風尚中心及潮流引領之地。而明人尚奇,各種珍玩雕刻工藝無不受到推崇和寵愛,然富貴之人乃至一般市民只看重貴重材料所製產品,工匠與商家也藉此契機獲得豐厚利潤。但追求俗好卻不符合文人逸士清風高雅、不追俗流的審美情趣,因此藝術品則開始有清濁之別,素雅之分。在此背景下,文人竹刻得到迅速發展,職業竹刻家投入到對文人藝術的學習當中,文人逸士也對竹雕創作產生極大興趣,竹雕工匠被授予有史以來最高的文化身份和社會地位。

    明正德、嘉靖年間,嘉定人朱鶴將鏤雕工藝運用到竹雕上,開啟文人竹刻藝術大門。明代後期至清代初期,文人竹雕發展逐漸形成以「深雕」為特色的嘉定派以及以「水磨」、「淺刻」為擅長的金陵派。
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