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Asia Week New York 2014:
JonathanTucker-Antonia Tozer
Asian Art

Stucco Seated Buddha
Gandhara, Northwest Pakistan
Hadda style
4th-5th century
H. 52 cms, 20 ½ ins

A large and exceptional stucco figure of Buddha, seated in dhyana (meditation)-mudra, wearing a sanghati covering both shoulders and legs, his head tilted slightly to the left, his face meditative and serene beneath a dimpled coiffure rising to a bun-shaped usnisha, with extensive traces of red pigment remaining.

At the Jaulian monastery in Taxila, Northwest Pakistan are tiers of niches containing stucco figures of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and devotees in acts of worship or meditation. This image is reminiscent of the Jaulian style- see pl. 522-525 in H. Ingholt and I. Lyons, 1957. For a similar Buddha in the Cleveland Museum of Art, see cat. no. 121 in S. J. Czuma, 1985. Perhaps the finest of all the many examples of stucco Buddha heads is in the Victoria and Albert Museum and has a similar tilt. Widely published and admired, it is variously ascribed to either Hadda or Taxila - see cat. no. 120, ibid.

Provenance: Private English collection