India, the Gupta period

6th-7th century, India, Bihar, historical buddha Shakyamuni, copper alloy, at the Victoria & Albert Museum (UK)

6th-7th century, India, Bihar, historical buddha Shakyamuni, copper alloy, at the Victoria & Albert Museum (UK)

Ranging roughly from the 4th to the 7th century, the Gupta style was, to some extent, imitated in Tibet several centuries later. The sculptures usually represent the historical buddha, standing, his eyes semi-closed, draped in a transparent garment (often pleated) covering both shoulders, holding one end of it in his left hand, the right hand lifted up palm outwards. The body proportions are not always graceful, the legs sometimes look a bit short and the head rather large for the short torso and long arms, but the quality of the craftsmanship is usually outstanding.

6th century, India, bronze and pigment, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (US)

6th century, India, copper alloy and pigment, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (US)

 

6th century, India, bronze, at the Norton Simon Museum (US)

6th century, India, bronze, at the Norton Simon Museum (US)

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