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    Sale 2761

    Asian Art

    20 - 21 November 2007, Amsterdam

  • Lot 342

    A Grey Limestone Figure of a Seated Maitreya Buddha


    Price Realised  


    A Grey Limestone Figure of a Seated Maitreya Buddha
    Northern Wei dynasty, Longmen Caves, 5/6th Century
    The slender figure seated with ankles crossed in bhadrasana, with right hand in abhayamudra while the left hand rests atop the left knee, wearing thin robes pleated along the legs, the slender face carved with fine features, the hair gathered under a high headdress
    40.5 cm. high, fitted wood stand

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    Based on the posture and hand mudra's, this figure most probably represents the Maitreya or the bodhisattva of the Future. It is known that the Maitreya was one of the most popular bodhisattva during this early phase of Chinese Buddhism.
    This figure is similar to other figures of Maitreya Buddha dated to the Northern Wei period and thought to come from the Longmen caves. For a similar example see the Norton Gallery, West Palm Beach, Florida, and illustrated in A Handbook of the Chinese Collections, 1972, no. 103, where figures of this small size are described as being carved in the spaces between the larger figures arranged in niches around the walls of the caves at Longmen. Two other examples from the Guyang Cave are published by O. Siren in Chinese Sculptures in the Van de Heydt Collection, Rietberg Museum, Zurich 1957, pls. 11 and 12.

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    Pre-Lot Text