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Jonathan Tucker Antonia Tozer Asian Art

Polished Limestone Standing Buddha
China, From the vicinity of Qingzhou, Shandong province
Eastern Wei period, 534 - 550 AD
Polished limestone
97 cm, 38 ins.

A refined and exceptionally rare polished limestone figure of the Buddha, the face serene with eyes downcast in meditation, the head with pronounced usnisha, the hair dressed with even rows of spiral curls, the ears elongated; standing atop a lotiform pedestal in front of a fully formed circular lotus halo and mandorla, the right hand (now missing) raised in abhayamudra (the gesture of dispelling fear) and the left hand (also missing) probably in varadamudra (the granting of wishes), the figure draped in a kasaya that falls from both shoulders, crossing at the waist to descend to the ankles in generous parallel folds that reveal two feet.

The Eastern Wei period lasted for less than twenty years and sculptures from the period are therefore extraordinarily rare. For comparable examples please refer to plate 10, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Buddhist Sculptures: New Discoveries from Qingzhou, Shandong Province, Exhibition catalogue, Hong Kong, 2001 and cat no. 15, page 84 in The Art of Contemplation – Religious Sculpture from Private Collections, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1997.

Provenance: Private Far East Collection

all text & images © Jonathan Tucker Antonia Tozer Asian Art

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