The Naked Truth 2: The path to Enlightenment
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Provenance Private collection, New York. Literature W. Felten and M. Jahrhundert, , fig. Baptiste and T. The Mon, who are thought to have come from western China originally, had early commercial and cultural contact with India which contributed to the development and character of Mon civilization. When the Dvaravati Mon were dominated by neighbouring peoples, they in their turn transmitted their culture to their conquerors, the Burmese, the Khmer, and the Thai.
All three were influenced by Dvaravati in writing systems, art forms, government, religious terminology and scholarship. This head portrays Gautama Sakyamuni, the historical Buddha, whose teachings, first shared with a small group of followers in the sixth century bce, are followed by many millions today. The head was originally part of an important statue in a Buddhist sanctuary, and has a particularly satisfying volume.
The half-closed eyes beneath finely arched brows and the gently smiling mouth suggest a highly focused introspection. The firm chin is incised, the earlobes are elongated and the ushnisa, denoting spiritual wisdom, rises from the crown of the curl-covered head. Provenance Private collection, France. Literature J. Idem, A Collecting Odyssey.
BMA 5H33,1G. Buddha Sakyamuni Thailand, Dvaravati kingdom, 8th century Bronze, cast by the lost wax method, height This sculpture, which depicts the Buddha seated in the European style, testifies to the richness of Dvaravati art. The position, with both feet on the ground, or in this case a lotus, was derived by Indian artists from Persian art of the Sassanian period. Buddhas in this attitude, surrounded by lions mounted on elephants, human figures, and birds emerging from the mouths of makaras, are also known from Ajanta and other cave temples in India.
His physical form is manifest beneath the sheer clinging fabrics of the uttarasangha, which covers his left shoulder, and the ankle-length undergarment. His head and ushnisa are covered with tiers of curls, and earlobes lengthened by the weight of princely jewellery reflect his royal origin.
This sculpture is a superb example of the extraordinary craftsmanship of the Mon. Their physiognomy is evident in the round face with full lips, and ridge-like eyebrows. The hands occupy their own space and increase the significance of this early Buddhist bronze.prod.golftoday.pbc.io/1354.php
Path to Enlightenment – Self-realization
Provenance Galerie De Ruimte, the Netherlands, before Private collection, the Netherlands, Literature T. There are similar examples in the National Museum Bangkok, Thailand, inv. Buddha Sakyamuni Thailand, Dvaravati kingdom, 8th century Bronze, cast by the lost wax method, eyes inlaid with silver, height Standing images of Sakyamuni, the historical Buddha, with both hands executing the teaching gesture of vitarkamudra, were important icons in Dvaravati art, which was influenced by the classical Indian model.
The present sculpture is exemplary of Dvaravati production, exhibiting all the characteristic traits. It bears similarities to a number of buddha images from the Mekong Delta in southern Cambodia, in particular bronzes in the Angkor Borei style. Sakyamuni stands upright, with his feet slightly apart, his body clearly revealed through the clinging fabrics of the uttarasangha, which covers both shoulders, and the ankle-length garment beneath it. He wears a moustache, his head and conical ushnisa are covered with diminishing rows of tight curls, and his elongated earlobes recall the weight of the heavy jewellery he wore in his life as a prince.
The physiognomy of the Mon creators is evident in the round face, monumental shoulders, full lips, pronounced ears and eyebrows. With majestic presence and an elegant body beneath almost transparent textiles the Buddha reveals great inner strength; his hands occupy their own space and increase the expression of this masterpiece of understated symmetry.
Provenance Collection P. Sanong Wattanavrangkul, Thailand, before Collection D. Latchford, England, Published P. Kalter, M. Thomsen and K. Pal, A Collecting Odyssey. The Sailendra dynasty, which emerged in the eighth century, built many temples, including the Candi Borobudur and the large temple complex of Prambanan in Java. The kingdom of Srivijaya was centred on Sumatra, with its capital at Palembang.
The style was influenced by Indian religious beliefs and concepts, as evident in the characteristics of this bronze, which exhibits the physiognomy typical of pieces found in Sumatra. The shape of the sarung, the broad-shouldered torso, and the short neck and complex coiffure are all representative of the style. The lack of bracelets and a necklace indicate that the sculpture was produced in an early period, when jewellery to adorn the statue was made separately.
He stands upright, his twelve arms fanning out on either side. His principal right hand makes the gesture of exposition, the vitarkamudra; his lower right hand makes the boon-granting gesture of varadamudra; his other right hands hold a padma, a tridanda, and a mala. The attributes in his left hands include a pustaka, a pasa, and a patra. On his head is a diadem with three floral elements, a sacred cord crosses his torso and a tiger skin, ajina, is wrapped around his hips. His hair is piled up into a high chignon and locks of hair fall onto his shoulders. His oval face wears a serene expression with well-delineated eyebrows, full cheeks, a fine nose, and a gently smiling mouth.
The elongated earlobes are pierced and would originally have been adorned with separately-made earrings. On the back of the figure are two supports that would have carried the mandorla. This impressive statue is one of the very rare bronzes to survive from Sumatra.
Imbued with an intense serene expression, it is an important sculpture of early Mahayana Buddhism made to inspire the faith of the Sailendras. Created with lively imagination, the twelve-armed figure has a powerful rhythmic form and poised movement, enhanced by precise and convincing modelling. Provenance Collection Mr Ir. Ghijsels and thence by descent. Literature B. Kempers, Ancient Indonesian Art, Amsterdam, , figs. Scheurleer and M. Lerner and S.
Technical Examination Report by P. Polak, Amsterdam. Manjusri Central Java, 9th century Bronze, cast by the lost wax method, height This fine statue of Manjusri is a typical example of the style of that period. The round face, the shape of the towering coiffure and the nested image of Amithaba, the shape of the dhoti, the yagnopavita and the large mandorla, all find affinities in bronzes dating from the ninth century.
The Naked Truth 2: The path to Enlightenment
A sense of restrained animation is enhanced by the subtle tribhanga pose, the relaxed lalitasana seated posture, and the gestures of the hands, one extended downwards in the gift-giving varadamudra, the other resting lightly on the base and holding the lotus stem. Manjusri is arrayed as befits a bodhisattva, with a beautifully rendered three-leaved tiara and a long shawl worn across the chest.
Long locks of hair cascade over the shoulders. This finely cast bronze statue has a natural elegance and a lively presence that is increased by the vibrant colour of the natural greenish patina. Provenance Private collection, USA. Literature A. Cunda Central Java, 9th century Bronze, cast by the lost wax method, height Early Javanese bronzes have iconographic features and stylistic characteristics that are similar to those found in sculpture from the Indian Pala period.
Vajrayana Buddhism had already reached central Java by the ninth century; a monumental image of the period depicts an eight-armed Cunda carved in relief on the facade of Candi Mendut, near Borobudur.
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In Vajrayana Buddhism, Cunda is revered as the deity of happiness and wisdom. Emanated from the Adi Buddha Vajrasattva, she is an important female bodhisattva, one of twelve Buddhist goddesses who generate great mystic power. Here, in a subtle tribhanga posture the eight-armed deity sits in lalitasana, the position of royal ease, on a double lotus throne set on a rectangular base, her right foot resting on an open lotus.
Cunda is typically attired as a bodhisattva, clad in a beautifully patterned dhoti and adorned with full array of ornaments, with earrings, armbands, bracelets, and a necklace. Her hair is arranged in a high jatamukuta and several long locks hang over her shoulders. The eighth hand rests on the throne and holds the stem of a lotus flower. In the centre of her forehead is a circular urna, the sign of illumination. Meyers Ph. D, Los Angeles, 18 March Vairocana Sumatra, Srivijaya kingdom, Sailendra dynasty, 9th century Bronze, cast by the lost wax method, traces of gilding, height 34 cm Srivijaya was a powerful maritime empire based on the island of Sumatra that flourished in the Malay Archipelago between the seventh and the thirteenth century and had a significant influence in Southeast Asia.
The earliest evidence of its existence is found in the writings of Yijing, a Chinese monk who spent six months in Srivijaya in The first appearance of the name Srivijaya sri means fortunate or prosperous; vijaya means victorious dates from and occurs in an inscription found at Kedukan Bukit in southern Sumatra. The capital was at Palembang, where a complex and cosmopolitan society with a refined culture developed, influenced by Vajrayana Buddhism.
He is one of the Five Dhyani Buddhas, transcendent beings who represent the five abstract aspects of buddahood. These cosmic Buddhas also represent the five directions, Vairocana being the lord of the centre. Here, Vairocana sits in virasana on a double lotus throne set on a rectangular base. He is dressed in the rich outfit of a bodhisattva, with a beautiful crown, earrings, necklace, bracelets, and anklets.
The sacred cord runs over his left shoulder to drape over his right knee and foot. His hair is worn in a high chignon and locks of hair lie on his shoulders. The round face, rounded arms and full body are related to the Srijvijaya style. The large flaming nimbus is a striking feature of this bronze image of Vairocana, framing and consolidating the imposing body and commanding intense expression of this cosmic Buddha. D, Los Angeles, 14 August King Rajendravarman chose to site his new city in the middle of the south bank of the East Baray, or eastern reservoir, and there he also built his state temple, the Pre Rup, a combination of great symmetry and overwhelming size.
The Pre Rup style of sculpture derived from the stately Phnom Bakheng type and the lively figures of the Koh Ker period. Pre Rup statues are among the finest Khmer sculpture, revealing the highest quality of expression and detail.
This impressive two-armed deva probably represents Vishnu, the second god of the Hindu trimurti and preserver of the universe. Fully modelled in the round, the figure displays characteristics related to the Pre Rup period, such as the shape of the chignon cover, the masterful detailing of the back of the head, and the extremely fine sampot which fits snugly around the body leaving its volumes undisguised. The deity stands sturdily upright, his feet slightly apart.
He has a beard and a curvy moustache, his earlobes are elongated and pierced to accommodate real jewellery, and his open eyes have engraved pupils. The eyebrows are represented by one continuous straight ridge, typical of early Khmer images. The diadem around his forehead is secured at the back of the head with an elaborate knot. Wrapped around his hips and hugging his legs is a sampot can kpin, carefully pleated and scalloped in front and held in place by a sash whose two ends form fishtails.
The nipples are discreetly indicated by an outer circle of dots and an incised inner circle and the navel is well indented. The arms are broken; the braces at the back of the ankles were intended to give additional support to the statue. The masterful carving in combination with the smooth hard polished surface, which characterizes the best known sculpture, epitomizes the artistic imagination of great Khmer art.
Provenance Private collection, Germany. Lerner, Entdeckungen. Jessup and T. Latchford, Adoration and Glory. Hindu Deva Cambodia, Pre Rup period, third quarter of the 10th century Polished sandstone, height 74 cm Digambara Tirthankara India, Western Rajasthan, dated Samvat Black stone, height 49 cm Jainism has been continuously practiced since the eight century bce; like Buddhism and Hinduism it emerged from India.
The Jain doctrine is expounded by means of a number of fundamental principles relating to the soul — formless, non-material and imperishable and embodied in a multitude of life forms from man to plants to the natural elements — and karma, which clings to the soul and so keeps it in bondage.
The ultimate goal is to rid the soul of all karma in order to achieve liberation from the cycle of rebirth. The Tirthankara sits in ardhaparyankasana on a floral decorated cushion, one foot on top of the other with the soles turned upwards. His hands are in the meditative gesture of dhyanimudra.
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Both his palms and his soles are incised with stylized flowers. A srivatsa — an ancient auspicious symbol in India — is carved in relief on his chest in a form that resembles a diamond-shaped floral pendant. His nipples are delineated by small whorls. This fine fragment of a Tirthankara must once have graced an important shrine. Portrayed with imaginative splendour and beautiful abstract physical realization the polished black stone sculpture displays the characteristics of central-Indian examples.
An inscription on the cushion dates this piece to ce. Provenance Private collection, New York, s Collection Mr C. Rochell, USA, Private collection, Spain, Published C. Pal, The Peaceful Liberators. Van Alphen, Steps to Liberation. Under the rule of the Solanki clan, from the tenth to the thirteenth century, it became a major centre of Indian Ocean trade. The period also marked a significant flowering in the fields of culture, literature, architecture, art and religion. Vishnu, the second god of the Hindu triumvirate, is known as the preserver of the universe. In this impressive altarpiece he stands in an upright samapada posture on a circular base that is set in a pitha, which functions as a basin for directing the flow of lustration fluids.
The four-armed deity is adorned with a stylized karandamukuta, kirthimukha earrings, a double necklace, bracelets and anklets, and a vanamala garland. He holds a sankha, a cakra, a gada and a lotus bud.
The kalasha or pitcher that tops the mandorla contains amrita, the elixir of life, and is a typical stylistic element of western Indian bronzes. The triangle at the centre of the front of the pedestal and the architectural structure of the mandorla allude to the famous Sun Temple at Modhera, built by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty and consecrated in The Shamjali temple, which is dedicated to Vishnu, dates from the same period. The magnificence of these temples is enhanced by carvings of gods, nymphs, musicians and celestial dancers.
The concept of a temple was believed to serve as the body of the god. This finely cast and much worshipped early bronze altarpiece displays all these elements including the pilasters, the attendants and mythical animals surrounding the large central figure. Provenance Collection Mr S. Digby, England, s Private collection, London, Idem, The Peaceful Liberators. Vishnu Cambodia, Angkor Wat, 12th century Bronze, cast by the lost wax method, height 33 cm In the first half of the twelfth century the Khmer empire was ruled by Suryavarman II.
He was not only an ambitious warrior king, significantly expanding the empire, but also a notable temple builder, presiding over the construction of such monuments as Angkor Wat, the largest religious structure in the world and unrivalled in architectural greatness. The temple was dedicated to Vishnu, the god represented in this fine bronze image, which was created in Angkor Wat period, one of the seminal moments of Khmer civilization.
Vishnu is the second god of the Hindu triumvirate and preserver of the universe. He stands firmly rooted on his integral base, his muscular shoulders straight. His eyes are set beneath eyebrows rendered by one continuous ridge, a feature based on earlier images. They are wide open with the pupils clearly rendered. Ear ornaments hang from the elongated ears, a diadem is tied around the chignon cover, and bracelets and anklets adorn the arms and legs.
He is clad in a sampot can kpin wrapped around the body and secured with a belt. Its top edge is folded over to form a deep scallop, covering the upper part of the fishtail panels at the front. With its fine proportions, consistent modelling, convincing posture and crisply delineated details, all complemented with a beautiful natural patina, this bronze is a fine example of its period.
Aiyanar and Consorts India, Chola period, 12th century Bronze copper , cast by the lost wax method, height The shape of the crowns, the sacred cords, the bracelets and the fine openwork jewellery are all characteristic of the period. The oldest metal images of this deity, whose name derives from the Sanskrit word arya noble , appear in Tamil Nadu around ce. Legend ascribes his birth to a union between Shiva and Vishnu, who appeared to Shiva in the guise of the enchantress Mohini. Thanks to this parentage, Aiyanar is revered by Saivites and Vaishnavites alike.
Aiyanar sits with his right leg pendant and the left leg bent vertically with his foot on the throne. His left arm rests relaxedly on his knee and his raised right hand holds his shendu or staff, signifying his ascetic nature and teaching role. Adorned with his typical jewellery, two different earrings, a wide hairstyle and sacred cord, the god is flanked by his consorts Madana and Varnani, here seated in lalitasana on the rectangular throne.
Lavishly bejewelled, each holds a padma in her raised hand while extending the other in the beneficent gesture of varadamudra. One wears a karandamukuta; the other has her hair drawn up into a high chignon. Both are clad in dhotis decorated with bands of pattern. Supports at the sides of the throne were originally designed to accommodate a nimbus. Their faces are radiantly alive and express serenity and happiness. The natural movements of legs and arms are beautifully integrated in a well balanced composition. Literature S. Balasubrahmanyam, Early Chola Temples, India, , pl.
The region then came under the control of the Pandyas, whose political power lasted from around to the beginning of the fourteenth century. The Pandya empire extended over a large part of South India and Sri Lanka but ultimately collapsed with the arrival of Islamic armies. Skanda, a son of Shiva and Parvati, is seen as an embodiment of eternal youth. He is the bestower of good things. In this fine image he is portrayed as a naked child; later he would defeat the supposedly invincible demon Takara and become glorified as the god of war, an important tutelary deity whose image is present in many temples.
Here, Skanda stands on a circular double lotus throne, striking the pose of a dancer about to perform his first steps, with both legs bent in the chatura mode. His raised right hand holds a lotus bud and his left is in lolahasta, extended downwards following the contour of his body.