Pala India, crowned buddha – seated

10th-11th century, India, Bihar, Kurkihar style, bronze with silver inlay, lapis lazuli and rock crystal inlay on pedestal, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (USA).

10th-11th century, India, Bihar, Kurkihar style, Shakyamuni, bronze with silver inlay, lapis lazuli and rock crystal, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (USA).

The historical buddha is seated on a double lotus over a tortoise pedestal inlaid with lapis lazuli and rock crystal (mainly missing), surrounded by a flaming arch once topped by a parasol, his right hand ‘calling Earth to witness’, the other held in the meditation gesture to hold a begging bowl. He wears a crown, earrings, a necklace and a sacred thread.

10th-11th century, Northeast India, Shakyamuni, brass with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo by Christie's.

10th-11th century, Northeast India, Shakyamuni, brass with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This one is seated on a tall Pala-style base with incised (rather than sculpted) petals. He wears a short necklace and there is a large armband on his naked arm, and a bracelet.

10th-11th-c-india-ne-shakyamuni-c-a-sil-inlay-facenecklace-detail

His crown is decorated with with rosettes and ribbons that fall over his shoulders. His eyes, the large urna on his forehead and part of his crown and jewellery are inlaid with silver.

11th century, India, Bihar, Shakyamuni, bronze, published by John Siudmak.

11th century, India, Bihar, Shakyamuni, bronze, published by John Siudmak.

This sculpture includes stone-inlaid accessories. He is seated on a single lotus base.

11th century, Northern India, Shakyamuni, brass, at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York (USA).

11th century, India, Shakyamuni, brass with copper and silver inlay, at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York (USA).

11th-c-india-shakyamuni-northern-brassc-s-inlay-156-cm-close-rubin

Whereas silver inlay is a standard procedure for the eyes and urna, the use of copper for the lips and parts of the garment and/or accessories is not quite as common on works made in Northeast India during the Pala period.

 

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