Lot 312. A large parcel-gilt bronze figure of Shakyamuni Buddha, Ming dynasty, 17th century. Height 63.5 cm, 25 in. Lot sold: 56,700 GBP (Estimate: 40,000 - 60,000 GBP). © 2022 Sotheby's.
Property from a Viennese Private Collection.
Note: Remarkable for its bold modelling and heavy casting, the present figure of Buddha Shakyamuni, seated in on an elaborate lotus pedestal, is a fine example from the late Ming dynasty. The iconographic form - in which the Buddha is seated with legs crossed at the ankle (dhyanasana) in the earth-touching gesture (bhumisparsha mudra) — recalls his triumph over the demon Mara (maravijaya) just prior to his enlightenment. Having vowed to remain in meditation until he penetrated the mysteries of existence, Shakyamuni was visited by the demon Mara and his hoard of sorcerers and seductresses. The Buddha resisted the temptations with which Mara sought to deflect him from his goal, and moved his hand from the meditation posture in his lap towards the ground to call the earth to witness his resolve. Mara’s hoard dispersed leaving the Buddha to attain enlightenment. The episode took place beneath a Bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya in eastern India. This adamantine site (vajrasana) is said to have been especially empowered to expedite the Buddha’s enlightenment.
Compare a large lacquered bronze figure of Shakyamuni Buddha, attributed to the Ming dynasty and sold at Christie's Paris, 13th December 2017, lot 142; and a smaller bronze figure, sold in our New York rooms, 20th March 2019, lot 680.
From an European private collection, acquired in 1910 in Tangshan, China, thence by descent in the family. A large lacquered bronze figure of Buddha Shakyamuni, Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Hauteur: 54 cm. (21 ¼ in.), socle en bois. Sold for 52,500 EUR at Christie's Paris, 13th December 2017, lot 142. © Christie's Images Ltd
Sotheby's. Monochrome, London, 2 November 2022