G685 ANDESITE BUDDHA TORSO


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G685 BUDDHA TORSO
INDONESIA, EASTERN PART OF CENTRAL JAVA
9TH CENTURY
H. 86 CMS, 34 INS; W. 81 CMS, 32 INS
A majestic torso of the Buddha, sculpted from an unusually dense volcanic andesite stone, seated in vajrasana with his right hand in bhumisparsimudra (the gesture of ‘summoning the earth to witness’), and his left resting in his lap in dhyanamudra, the chest inflated by prana (inner breath), wearing a thin double-hemmed sanghati that leaves the right shoulder exposed, with a remarkable layered sash terminating at front and rear with cascading pleats, the underside with the remains of a short tang.

This sublimely beautiful Buddha torso is not dissimilar to images from the great Central Javanese site of Borobudur but what sets it apart is the exquisite modelling of the sanghati, at both the front and rear of the sculpture. Its pleats are sculpted in a flamboyant manner with the ends fanning out at each end of the sash. An exhaustive search of the literature relating to Javanese sculpture has yielded only one other example of this ornate style of sash, a large figure of a seated monk in the National Museum, Jakarta – see detail above and p. 136 in Karl With, Java: Brahmanische, Buddhistische und Eigenlebige Architektur und Plastik auf Java, Hagen I. W. Folkwang Verlag, 1920. This monk figure was reported to have been discovered in the vicinity of Kediri in East Central Java, southwest of Surabaya. For an example of a more conventional, less ornate seated Buddha from Borobudur, see cat. no. 11 in Jan Fontein, The Sculpture of Indonesia, Washington, National Gallery of Art, 1990.

PROVENANCE: Previously sold by us in 2009.

From the collection of the renowned Chilean hyperrealist painter Claudio Bravo (1936-2011)
Previously in a private English collection.