Gandhara culture, Maitreya (4)

2nd-3rd century, Gandhara, Maitreya, schist, private collection, photo on  Tajan .

Maitreya, identified by the ritual water pot he holds by the neck, his strangely child-like face contrasting with his squarish torso and broad shoulders. He is adorned with the usual choker and strings of beads, one of them worn across the right shoulder, another worn across the chest, large earrings, armlets, bracelets, and a scarf that covers his left shoulder and his right elbow.

circa 3rd-4th century, Gandhara, Maitreya, schist, private collection, photo on Lapada

A rather plump figure without a moustache, his wavy hair gathered in a bun, holding a pot shaped like a blue lotus (upside-down) with his left hand and doing the fear-allaying gesture with the other.

3rd-5th century, Gandhara, Maitreya, stucco, private collection, photo on Gazette Drouot.

Yet again a different style, with an elaborate headdress and no beaded ornaments across his shoulder or his chest, the kundika missing from his hands. His pleated scarf covers most of the right arm, forms a loop over his ankles and ends over his left wrist.

Undated, Gandhara, Maitreya, schist, private collection, photo on Gazette Drouot

A rare sculpture of him seated on a throne supported by pillars and featuring a scene with a seated bodhisattva (possibly himself) at the centre and a kneeling devotee on each side. He wears a turban and a large fan-shaped ornament with a protruding element at the front (which is sometimes construed as a stupa but also appears on sculptures of Avalokiteshvara, for more details see Pratapaditya Pal ).

3rd-4th century, Gandhara, Maitreya, schist, private collection, photo on Bonhams .

This bodhisattva could also be Avalokiteshvara holding a (now lost) lotus as we saw here but Bonhams tell us that the ribbons across the halo are specific to Maitreya. We saw one from the  Met with long serpentine ribbons on his halo.

3rd century, Gandhara, Maitreya, schist, private collection, photo on Oise Enchères 

The buddha of the future with a large head, short legs and squarish feet, standing on a square base decorated with a four-petal floral motif.

3rd-4th century, Gandhara, Maitreya, schist, private collection, photo by Galerie Zacke on Gazette Drouot

With generous facial features, his hair tied in two soft loops falling on each side of his head, wearing a skirt-like lower garment pleated on one side and the usual jewellery, except for the beads across the right shoulder. He stands on a pedestal supported by columns and decorated with large flowers. His ritual pot is shaped like a lotus bud. The upper garment is tucked under the left arm and forms an elegant loop across his thighs before coming to rest over the right arm.

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Gandhara, Shakyamuni (4)

3rd-5th century, Gandhara, Shakyamuni, bronze, private collection, photo on Grand Art

A rare statue of the historical buddha on a plinth atop a lotus flower, its cylindrical stem now missing.

2nd-3rd century, Gandhara, Shakyamuni, grey schist, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Shakyamuni with soft wavy hair gathered in a meringue-like pointed bun, a solar disc behind his head, seated on a throne covered with a cloth, dressed in a pleated garment that covers both shoulders, one end held in front of him in his left hand, the right hand doing the fear-allaying gesture and displaying a tiny wheel embossed in his palm.

Undated, Gandhara, Shakyamuni, stucco, found at Nimogram, photo by Joan Raducha on wisc.edu

A different style, with thick lips, bulging eyes, a round hair bun, both hands in the meditation gesture and covered by his garment, with pleats roughly incised and going diagonally across the chest.

Undated, Gandhara, Shakyamuni, stucco, found at Nimogram, photo by Joan Raducha on wisc.edu

Here the robe doesn’t cover the hand and it has concentric pleats, the hair bun is smoother. On both images the hair locks are stippled rather than modelled.

Undated, Gandhara, Shakyamuni, black schist, found at Nimogram, photo by Joan Raducha, on wisc.edu

On this stone item, the artist has made very elegant pleats on the sanghati, in the Greco-buddhist style.

4th-5th century, Gandhara, Shakyamuni, stucco, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

The sculpture on the left depicts the historical buddha doing the gesture of meditation with the right hand resting in the palm of the left hand, his robe arranged in horizontal pleats over his ankles, his wavy hair gathered in a bun. The other depicts him with the right hand holding the left hand, his robe arranged in diagonal pleats over his ankles, his wavy hair coiled in a bun.

2nd-3rd, Gandhara, Parinirvana Buddha relief panel, grey schist, private collection, photo on Roseberys

An unusual depiction of the historical buddha on his death bed, his left hand between his head and the pillow, the right hand leaning on the couch.

India, early buddhas

5th century, India, Sarnath, miniature stupa on lotus with seated Buddha, stone, at the Archaeological Museum in Sarnath (India).

Siddharta Gautama, seated ‘the European way’ on a throne supported by a lotus, his hands turning the wheel of dharma symbolically, his transparent sanghati covering both shoulders.

6th century, India, Sarnath, Buddha, stone, at the Archaeological Museum in Sarnath (India).

6th-7th century, India, Post-Gupta, later Sarnath style, Shakyamuni, bronze with silver and copper inlay, at the Met in New York (USA).

A smooth figure with silver-inlaid eyes and urna, copper inlaid lips, hem and cushion, seated on a rocky formation with a lion at the front atop a base with legs. The right hand does the gesture of supreme generosity, the other is in the meditation position and holds a piece of his robe, which covers only one shoulder and leaves the right arm bare.

7th-8th century, India, possibly Nalanda, Post-Gupta, Shakyamuni, bronze, private collection, photo on Galerie Hioco

 

Gandhara, Shakyamuni (3)

2nd-3rd century, (Gandhara), Swat Valley, Shakyamuni, bronze, private collection, photo on Black Rock.

1st-3rd century, Gandhara, Shakyamuni, bronze with silver-inlaid eyes, private collection, photo on Under the BO.

Circa 5th century, Gandhara, Shakyamuni, bronze, private collection photo on Asian Art

6th-7th century, (Gandhara), Swat Valley Shakyamuni, bronze, private collection, photo on Grand Art.

The above belong to a group of standing metal statues that depict the historical buddha with disproportionate hands, short legs and squarish feet, thick hair curls, a stiff robe.

2nd century, Gandhara, Buddha, grey schist, private collection, photo on Artkhade

Circa 6th century, Gandhara, Shakyamuni, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

On the contrary, greco-buddhist style works have realistic body proportions and the robe of the buddha is more fluid and elegant.

The hair may be combed in concentric rows of curls on both sides of the head, including the bun.

 

Gandhara, stucco sculptures (2)

3rd-4th century, Gandhara, Shakyamuni, polychrome stucco, private collection, photo on Christie’s

4th century, Gandhara, Pakistan, possibly Taxila, Shakyamuni, stucco, part of a frieze, at the Asian Civilisation Museum in Singapore.

4th century, Gandhara, Pakistan, possibly Taxila, Shakyamuni, stucco, at the Asian Civilisation Museum in Singapore. Same as before.

The historical buddha, his hands ‘turning the wheel of dharma‘.

4th-5th century, Gandhara, probably Afghanistan, Shakyamuni, polychrome stucco, private collection, photo on Bonhams

In Gandharan art Shakyamuni often has wavy rather than curly hair and there is no lotus bud finial on his chignon (see the page on hairstyles in the left hand column of this blog).

4th-5th century, Gandhara, Maitreya, stucco, private collection, Jonathan Tucker Antonia Tozer Asian Art Asian Art

Maitreya is identified by the pot of water he holds by the neck in one or both hands and a stupa (rather simplified here) at the front of his crown.

3rd-4th century, Gandhara, bodhisattva, stucco, private collection, photo on Christie’s

 

Gandhara, singular bodhisattvas

Ancient Gandhara, Avalokiteshvara, Stone, collection of Asia Society (New York), published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Departing from the greco-buddhist standards, this work depicts Avalokiteshvara with his hair tied in a fan-shaped bunch adorned with an effigy of Amitabha, no moustache, wearing only a lower garment held in place with a small belt, a broad sash across the hips, adorned with serpentine armbands, two necklaces, floral earrings and a sacred thread, flanked by a female attendant. He holds the stem of what may have been a lotus in his left hand.

2nd-3rd century, Gandhara, bodhisattva, grey schist, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This bodhisattva, possibly Avalokiteshvara (he seems to be holding a lotus), has a tiny head in comparison with the broad shoulders, big arms and large rectangular torso. He is adorned with a foliate crown, uncommon for this period and area, and is seated on a cushion over a base decorated with a geometrical pattern. We can see remains of a back plate. As is traditional in Gandharan art, his upper garment covers the left shoulder and forearm while the other side is uncovered and reveals an armband and he wears bulky necklaces, one of them across the chest.

1st-4th century, Pakistan, Khyber Pakhtunkwa, (Avalokiteshvara) Padmapani, grey schist, at the Patna Museum in Bihar, photo from the Huntington Archive.

This may also be Avalokiteshvara in his padmapani form, with a moon-like face, no moustache, the same type of body proportions and accessories but a headdress typical of the Kushan period, seated on a cushion over a lotus with flat pointed petals and sepals going downwards. His tight-fitting garment has sharp pleating with deep grooves, the lower part is arranged in a rectangular shape over the base.

1st century, Afghanistan, Sahr i Bahlol, Avalokiteshvara, schist, photo by Jyoti Srivastava.

For comparison, a standard greco-buddhist sculpture of a bodhisattva, his hair gathered in a scallop-shaped bunch, adorned with a crown, a short and a medium length necklace over the chest, another two necklaces, going round the right shoulder and across the chest respectively, wearing a shawl over his left shoulder and right arm, his lower garment neatly arranged in the same specific manner as the first seated buddha above.

7th-8th century, late Gandharan period, Afghanistan, found near Kabul, Maitreya, schist, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (USA).

This post-Gandharan work has the quality of greco-buddhist sculpture  but exaggerated body proportions. The bodhisattva’s hair is gathered in a rigid bunch that forms a straight line, contrasting with the  long ribbons that flow on each side of his face; the folds of his shawl on the left shoulder are unusually sinuous. He holds a water pot between his hands, against his heart (instead of by the neck, over his lap).

Gandhara, Shakyamuni (2)

5th-6th century, Gandhara, Pakistan, Shakyamuni, bronze with silver inlay, Kushan period, private collection, photo by Gandhara gallery, published on http://www.asianart.com

This buddha with large hands and feet, his robe covering both shoulders and forming soft transversal pleats across the chest and concentric folds below, has silver-inlaid eyes, a plump oval face, sharp nose and fleshy lips (often seen on Central Asian sculptures), elongated earlobes and thick hair curls gathered in a bun (ushnisha).

2nd-3rd century, Gandhara, Shakyamuni, bronze, photo by Trustees of the British Museum, at the British Museum in London (UK).In a previous post we saw several buddhas, all dating from the 5th to 7th century, with a similar radiating mandorla with ‘spikes’ ending with a triple gem. They vary in style, the above belongs to the more graceful ones with harmonious body proportions.

6th century, Gandhara, Shakyamuni, bronze,  recent patina, private collection, photo by Koller.

Some of them only have the ‘spikes’ around the halo and a five-petal floral design around the body. They stand on a Kashmir-style stepped plinth and the buddha has a short trunk, squarish feet and a rigid countenance, as above. His robe describes a U shape at the front and reveals a larger portion of his loose-fitting undergarment.

6th century, Gandhara, Shakyamuni, copper alloy and silver-inlaid eyes, private collection, photo by Astamangala on http://www.astamangala.com.