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    Sale 12255

    The Lahiri Collection: Indian and Himalayan Art, Ancient and Modern

    15 March 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 47

    A RARE BRONZE FIGURE OF MAITREYA

    NORTHEAST INDIA, NALANDA, 7TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A RARE BRONZE FIGURE OF MAITREYA
    NORTHEAST INDIA, NALANDA, 7TH CENTURY
    Standing in slight tribhanga with his right hand lowered in varadamudra while the left is raised and holding the stem of a lotus, clad in a dhoti incised with diagonal lines secured with a chain belt, a scarf draped diagonally across his chest, an upavita, bejewelled, his face displaying a serene expression with almond-shaped eyes below incised arched eyebrowsand centeres by an urna, his hair pulled into a chignon set with a tiara and centered by a stupa with some tresses falling down his shoulders
    7 5/8 in. (19.3 cm.) high


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    This finely cast bronze figure of Maitreya still shows post-Gupta stylistic influences as can be noted in the more naturalistic and fleshy body, high placed armlets and facial details. During the Post-Gupta period and preceding the Pala dynasty, Nalanda was already active as a Buddhist university and monastery, as recorded by Chinese pilgrims. Scholars have suggested that the Buddhist faith was strongly propagated from Nalanda to other regions. Taking the high quality of the presented bronze into consideration it seems likely that it was cast in a foundry in or around Nalanda.

    Provenance

    London market by 1994
    Acquired in London on 25 October 2000