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Jonathan Tucker & Antonia Tozer

Limestone Head of a Buddha
Syu Dynasty, 581-618 AD
limestone
H. 25.5 cms, 10 ins

A limestone head of Buddha, carved in the round with a high plain crown and elongated earlobes, the face serene with eyes downcast in meditation and upturned eyebrows, the corners of the lips drawn up into a faint smile, the expression benevolent and at ease.

During the Sui dynasty, craftsmen assimilated the features of the Northern Qi and adapted them to create a more classical beauty where three-dimensional forms were given a more realistic touch. This almost rectangular head is particularly striking for the way in which its full, rounded face contrasts beautifully with its sharply chiseled features.

Compare to a similar head with pronounced eyebrows, see plate 62, page 165 in The Art of Contemplation: Religious Sculpture from Private Collections, Taipei: National Palace Museum, 1997.

PROVENANCE:
Private English Collection. From the Estate of Keith Bromley (of Russell and Bromley Shoes).

all text, images Jonathan Tucker and Antonia Tozer

 

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