Jammu and Kashmir, crowned buddha

9th century circa, Jammu and Kashmir, Shakyamuni, copper, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA).

9th century circa, Jammu and Kashmir, Shakyamuni, copper, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA).

This Kashmiri masterpiece is reminiscent of earlier works made in Gilgit, with similar facial features, draping of the dhoti, lotus base and smaller kneeling figure. However, the tall crown made of three equal panels with a moon crescent and a lotus flower is specifically associated with Jammu and Kashmir. It has the usual bows and rosettes on each side, and long soft ribbons that flow downwards behind his lotus-flower earrings and past his shoulders. The flames on the back panel have a singular zig-zag shape pointed at both ends. His eyes and urna are inlaid with silver. He holds one end of his transparent garment in his left hand. The right hand does the charity mudra. The long sleeves of his v-necked upper garment have some small cuffs. There is a thin celestial scarf resting on his right arm and left knee. He has two necklaces, a short one made of large round beads and a long one made of cloth or cord and flat ornaments. As usual with Kashmiri works of that period, the ‘artichoke-leaf’ double lotus base is placed on a plain rectangular pedestal. The donor at the bottom wears a headdress that evokes earlier Gandhara sculptures of devotees.

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