A SCHIST TORSO OF A BODHISATTVA ANCIENT REGION OF GANDHARA, CIRCA 4TH CENTURY

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Lot 6
A SCHIST TORSO OF A BODHISATTVA
ANCIENT REGION OF GANDHARA, CIRCA 4TH CENTURY

Sold for HK$ 2,560,000 (US$ 326,765) inc. premium
A SCHIST TORSO OF A BODHISATTVA
ANCIENT REGION OF GANDHARA, CIRCA 4TH CENTURY
85 cm (33 1/2 in.) high

Footnotes

  • Gandharan sculpture is a testament to the cross-cultural origins and early spread of Buddhist art. The carving would have been created by cosmopolitan ateliers working in the Greco-Roman tradition that populated the region following Alexander the Great's invasion of modern-day Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Western China in 327BCE. These well-trained artists drew on Mediterranean sculptural traditions when catering to the demand from local Buddhist communities for carved stone monuments and iconic statuary. This is all the clearer in breath-taking Gandharan sculptures that faithfully render Hellenistic athleticism and naturalism like the present lot.

    The perfectly carved muscular pectorals and abdomen express the supramundane quality of an enlightened Buddhist being using a Hellenistic vocabulary that represents the divine with idealized athleticism. Meanwhile, the raiment and regalia draw on Classical aesthetic principles of naturalism, tightening and slackening over the body as if observed from real-life models. The varying pleats and crisp jewelry produce a dramatic visual contrast against the smooth torso. The clarity around the waist of the knotted cord and bunching folds, and the coherence of the pleats wrapped around the left armband, indicate the sculpture's exceptional quality.

    These large figures reflect an important religious shift in Gandharan Buddhism from the Nayika (Theravada) school's focus on relics and stupas to Mahayana's emphasis on the veneration of icons in 3rd century CE. During this time, ateliers transitioned away from carving narrative panels that lined the façade of stupas, towards sculptures of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas that increasingly became the focus of worship.

    Discussing a closely related bust in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1987.218.10), Behrendt argues that the technique of undercutting supports a 4th-century date, being absent from earlier devotional images. This technique is similarly used on the present sculpture to crisply define the gem underneath the right armpit and the tied knot at the waist. (Behrendt, The Art of Gandhara in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2007, no.41, p.53.)

    Published
    Jonathan Tucker and Antonia Tozer Asian Art, Treasures from the Silk Road, London, 1999, no.3.

    Provenance
    Spink & Son, Ltd., London
    Private New York Collection
    Carlton Rochell Asian Art, New York, 2015
    Elizabeth and Willard Clark Collection, California


    片岩菩薩立像
    犍陀羅,約四世紀

    高85釐米(33 1/2英吋)

    1,500,000-2,500,000港元

    犍陀羅藝術乃是佛教藝術跨文化起源與早期傳承之遺證。公元前327年,阿歷山大大帝入侵現今巴基斯坦、阿富汗及中國西部等地,藝術家借鑒地中海雕塑傳統,以希臘羅馬風格進行佛教藝術創作,以滿足當地佛教群體對石碑與佛像的需求。此尊古犍陀雕像,栩栩如生地展示希臘健美體格及寫實風格,上述淵源尤其明顯。

    菩薩均稱的胸腹以及健美身型,以希臘化的藝術風格語彙呈現菩薩的超凡脫俗。身著飾物則採用古典寫實主義美學,張弛如真,皺摺有緻、飾物線條清脆,與柔軟的軀幹成鮮明對比。腰帶的細緻編結及衣褶紋飾堆疊,以及掛於左手的帔帛,充份展示此尊佛像的高超技藝。

    此類大型雕像反映出三世紀時犍陀羅地區的佛教正從注重舍利與佛塔的小乘佛教發展至注重造像膜拜的大乘佛教。匠師也從主要雕刻佛塔上的敘事壁碑,轉為雕塑逐漸成為崇拜焦點的佛陀造像與菩薩像。

    Behrendt曾研究一尊紐約大都會美術館之相關半身像(1987.218.10),並以其身上的凸雕技法推定其作於四世紀,原因為此類雕塑技巧未見於四世紀之前佛教造像。本尊造像以凸雕技巧清晰的呈現腰帶上的編結,突顯右臂下的寶石。參見Behrendt著,《The Art of Gandhara in the Metropolitan Museum of Art》,紐約,2007年,41號,53頁。


    著錄
    Jonathan Tucker 及 Antonia Tozer,《Treasures from the Silk Road》,倫敦,1999年,3號。

    來源
    Spink & Son, Ltd.,倫敦
    紐約私人收藏
    Carlton Rochell Asian Art,紐約,2015年
    Elizabeth與Willard Clark夫婦收藏,加州
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