• Indian and Southeast Asian Art auction at Christies

    Sale 2300

    Indian and Southeast Asian Art

    23 March 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 119

    A Gray Schist Figure of a Teaching Buddha


    Price Realised  


    A Gray Schist Figure of a Teaching Buddha
    Gandhara, 3rd century
    Seated in dhyanasana on a lotus base supported by three elephants over an openwork plinth, his hands in dharmachakramudra, dressed in a long sanghati draped over the left shoulder, his face with elongated eyes centered by a raised urna, the hair pulled over the ushnisha and backed by a nimbus
    13 3/8 in. (34 cm.) high

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    The present scene focuses on the essential elements of the second miracle of Sravasti, when the two naga kings created a lotus upon whose petals the Buddha seated himself. In this example, Buddha is seated on an inverted lotus throne supported by three elephants. As the Sanskrit word naga denotes both serpent and elephant, the sculptor is able to draw on a linguistic and visual pun and replace the two snakes with the serpentine forms of the elephants' trunks. For related examples, see H. Ingolt, Gandharan Art in Pakistan, 1957, p. 4, fig. XVI, and figs. 257 and 261.


    Julian Sherrier Collection, London, formed between early 1940s-1972