A LARGE SCHIST HEAD OF BUDDHA  ANCIENT REGION OF GANDHARA, 3RD/4TH CENTURY
Lot 3078
A LARGE SCHIST HEAD OF BUDDHA
ANCIENT REGION OF GANDHARA, 3RD/4TH CENTURY
Sold for US$ 275,000 inc. premium

Lot Details
Selections from the Elizabeth and Willard Clark Collection
A LARGE SCHIST HEAD OF BUDDHA  ANCIENT REGION OF GANDHARA, 3RD/4TH CENTURY A LARGE SCHIST HEAD OF BUDDHA  ANCIENT REGION OF GANDHARA, 3RD/4TH CENTURY
A LARGE SCHIST HEAD OF BUDDHA
ANCIENT REGION OF GANDHARA, 3RD/4TH CENTURY
18 3/8 in. (47.3 cm) high

Footnotes

  • 犍陀羅 三/四世紀 片岩佛首

    Of exceptional scale with a commanding presence, yet retaining Buddha's serene sense of introspection, this head is recognized as one of the great examples of its kind. Gandharan sculpture's Greco-Roman legacy and its evolution towards abstraction is seamlessly juxtaposed here with the naturalistic curves of his nasal sidewall, nostrils, and chin, and the crisp ridges defining his lips, philtrum, eyelids, and eyebrows.

    Buddha's locks undulate in symmetrical waves from the center point and flow over the dome of his ushnisha. Close examples are held in the British Museum (see Zwalf, Gandhara Sculpture, Vol. II, London, 1996, pp.9, 10, & 32, nos.1, 3, & 39). Also compare another renowned example sold at Christie's, New York, 19 March 2013, lot 201.

    More commonly found on images of bodhisattvas, a mustache is present in a rarer group of Gandharan Buddha images, including one in the British Museum and another in the Peshawar Museum (see op. cit., pp.9 & 32, nos.2 & 39; and Kurita, Gandharan Art, Vol.I, Tokyo, 1988, p.81, no.206; respectively.)

    The size, well-preserved condition, and beautiful variation of colors within the stone of this remarkable head places it amongst the most important examples held in private hands. With the Rockefeller head at the Asia Society, New York at 14 1/2 inches, and the British Museum head at 15 inches, the present lot is one of the largest known (cf. op cit., p.32, no.39; and Proser, The Buddhist Heritage of Pakistan, New York, 2011, p.151, no. 59; respectively).

    Published
    Pratapaditya Pal, The Sensuous Immortals: A Selection of Sculptures from the Pan-Asian Collection, Los Angeles, 1978, p.28, no.7.

    Exhibited
    The Sensuous Immortals: A Selection of Sculptures from the Pan-Asian Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 24 October 1977 - 15 January 1978; Seattle Art Museum, 10 March - 23 April 1978; Denver Art Museum, 26 May - 30 July 1978; Nelson-Atkins Gallery, 15 September - 29 October 1978; National Gallery of Canada, 26 January - 12 March 1979; Toledo Museum of Art, 6 May - 24 June 1979.

    Provenance
    The Pan-Asian Collection, formed by Christian Humann, 1950s-70s
    Robert H. Ellsworth, by 1981
    Christie's, New York, 23 June 1983, lot 445
    The Elizabeth and Willard Clark Collection, California
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