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Arnold Lieberman

Kushan Buddha Torso
India; Mathura
1st - 2nd century
red sandstone
36"h x 39"w

Kushan Buddha Torso

The Buddha is seated in the Dhyanasana [lotus] position on an inscribed base which says "[- month and year missing -] day 10; on this day, the Commander-in-Chief, [name illegible], established this image of Sakyamuni for the principal benefit of [his mother] and father; [and] for the sake of his own health and well being; [and] for the [*happiness and] welfare of all beings; [given] in the possession of [*the masters] of the Sarvastivadin [school]."

The Buddha's left arm most likely held up his monastic robe, which remains evident zigzagging around his left knee. The right arm and hand were most probably in a Abhaya (blessing) mudra. The body is adorned in a semi-transparent monastic robe that hugs tightly to the body except at the neckline. This style reached its pinnacle during the Gupta period, 4th - 6th centuries. The treatment of the robe has a groove-like quality that points to an early date. This sculpture with its exquisite yet massive proportions ranks among the masterpieces of the Kushana school. For a similar iconographic example see Early Indian Sculpture, Ludwig Bachhofer, 1973, Plate 84 left.

Itemcode: AJ1292

all text & images © Arnold Lieberman except where noted

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