RELEASE: EXCEPTIONAL BRONZES, SCULPTURE AND PAINTINGS LEAD CHRISTIE’S SALE OF INDIAN & SOUTHEAST ASIAN ART

New York

New York - On the afternoon of 18 September, Christie’s will present the fall sale of Indian & Southeast Asian Art.  Comprised of nearly 200 lots, the sale offers exceptional sculpture and paintings from the Himalayas, South and Southeast Asia.  Among the highlights are an important Chola bronze figure of Parvati, a lifesize Gandharan figure of a bodhisattva, a rare bronze figure of Shiva Nataraja from Sri Lanka and several important Indian and Tibetan paintings.

Leading the sale is a large and important Chola bronze figure of Parvati from South India, circa 1100 (estimate: $800,000-1,200,000).  The goddess is masterfully cast and modeled as a seductive and graceful woman embodying all the ideals of Indian beauty.  The figure is superbly executed with careful attention paid to details of adornment, including the patterned dhoti, the jewelry and the bound hair.  The figures Parvati created by the expert craftsmen of the Chola period, such as this one, are among the most sensuous images in Indian art.

Likely a depiction of Maitreya, a 2nd or 3rd century large gray schist figure of a Gandharan bodhisattva is of exceptional size and quality (estimate: $500,000-700,000).  Known as the Buddha of the future, it is said that when the dharma is forgotten on Earth, Maitreya will be born in our realm as the next Buddha. Both the dhoti and sanghati of this exquisite and nearly life-sized figure display the naturalistic attention to drapery characteristic of the Gandharan period that is held over from the earlier Greco-Roman influence in the region.

The sale will also offer a rare Sri Lankan bronze figure of Shiva Nataraja from the Polonnaruva period, circa 11th/12th century (estimate: $150,000-250,000).  The Shiva Nataraja is an iconic form of Indian sculpture and has had great influence on dance and other artistic forms.  While a popular image throughout the medieval Chola heartland of Tamil Nadu, representations of Shiva Nataraja in other parts of South Asia, such as this one, are considerably rarer.

A highly important group of nine paintings of the Third Panchen Lama is among the highlights of Tibetan works of art (estimate: $600,000-800,000).  Painted in Tibet, circa 1770, this extraordinarily detailed and finely executed set of paintings was made during the lifetime of the Third Panchen Lama, Lobzang Palden Yeshe (1738-1780), who is depicted as the centerpiece and flanked by paintings of his pre-incarnation lineage.  Additionally, the central painting bears his handprint on the verso.  A Tibetan painting of Buddha with scenes from his life dated to the 14th century will also be offered in the sale (estimate: $250,000-350,000). This painting illustrates Buddha flanked by the bodhisattvas Maitreya and Manjushri while surrounded by vignettes illustrating the important moments of his life.  The back of the painting reveals a unique inscription in the form of a stupa and a blessing behind each figure.   

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