A gray schist figure of a Bodhisattva, Gandhara, 2nd-3rd century


Lot 269, A gray schist figure of a Bodhisattva, Gandhara, 2nd-3rd century. Estimate $50,000 – $70,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2016

Seated in dhyanasana on a cushion over a lion throne, wearing a long dhoti and low-slung flowing sash over his muscular torso, adorned with a torque, beaded multi-stranded necklace terminating in makara heads, bracelets, armlets visible under his drapers, and earrings, his elaborate coiffure caught up with a beaded and floral headdress. 22 in. (56 cm.) high

ProvenanceSpink & Son, Ltd., London, 1990
Private collection, Illinois, acquired from Milan, 11 July 1990

LiteratureI. Kurita, Gandharan Art II: The World of the Buddha, 1990, p.38, fig.86

ExhibitedBorders and Crossroads: The Buddhist Art of Ancient Gandhara, Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, May 08 - October 07, 2001

NotesThe present figure is a fine example of the eloquent carving at the height of Gandharan sculptural tradition. The deeply cut folds, sensitive modeling of the torso, and sophisticated rendering of the hair and jewelry are ideal achievements in the depiction of a bodhisattva. For an example bearing similar stylistic treatment of the jewelry, drapery and torso in the Hirayama Collection, see K. Tanabe, Ghandaran Art from the Hirayama Collection, 2007, pp.100-101, pl.II-10. 

Christie's. INDIAN, HIMALAYAN AND SOUTHEAST ASIAN WORKS OF ART, 15 March 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza