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Carlton Rochell Asian Art

Buddha
Gandhara
3rd/4th Century
Schist
Height: 34 ¼ in. (87 cm.)

Imbued with serenity, this well-modeled image portrays a preaching Buddha seated in a meditative posture. He wears a long-sleeved sang-hati of heavy material that covers both of his shoulders and falls over his body in thick folds, masking his underlying physique. In front of his chest his hands are poised in dharmacakra mudra, a gesture of teaching, with the right suspended just above the left. [1] The smoothness of his skin is in marked contrast to the fabric of his monastic robe, a juxta-position seen also in the difference between the peaceful expression on his face and the undulating texture of his hair. His heavy-lidded eyes are downcast beneath gently arching brows, and his lips are turned up in a gentle, benevolent smile. The circular urna in relief at the center of his forehead is the only interruption to his otherwise flawless complexion. His hair, on the other hand, is arranged in finely-carved, wavy strands that have been drawn up on top of his head to cover his domed usnisa. Behind his head a circular nimbus, an indication of his enlightened status, is adorned with a fragmentary cylindrical finial at the top.

1. See Ingholt (1957), nos. 245-251 for other examples of Buddha in which he holds his hands in the same position of dharmacakra mudra as seen in the present example.

all text, images Carlton Rochell Asian Art

 

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