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A FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF AMITAYUS
A FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF AMITAYUS
A FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF AMITAYUS
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A FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF AMITAYUS
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PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION 
A FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF AMITAYUS

YONGLE SIX-CHARACTER PRESENTATION MARK AND OF THE PERIOD (1403-1424)

Details
A FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF AMITAYUS
YONGLE SIX-CHARACTER PRESENTATION MARK AND OF THE PERIOD (1403-1424)
The deity is exquisitely cast standing on a beaded lotus base with the hands in Buddhapatra mudra, placed horizontally in front of the waist and holding an alms bowl, patra. The rounded face is finely modelled with an urna between the arched eyebrows. The eyes are downcast and lips gently indented to provide a benevolent, smiling, expression. The figure is adorned with an elaborate diadem securing the hair swept up into a topknot with two neat strands falling on each shoulder. The back of the head is styled with long strands of hair cascading down to the ankle. The figure is further adorned with complex beaded jewellery chains across the bare torso and worn around the narrow waist, over the thin dhoti. The front of the base is incised with a six-character reign mark, Daming Yongle nian shi, Presented in the Great Ming Yongle period.
7 1/4 in. (18.4 cm.) high
Provenance
Sold at Sotheby's New York, Indian and Southeast Asian Art, 23 March 2000, lot 87

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Ruben Lien
Ruben Lien

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Lot Essay

The present example belongs to a very rare group of smaller sized, standing Buddhist images from the Ming dynasty Yongle period that are finely and skilfully cast. Another such example is the gilt-bronze standing figure of Sakyamuni of similar height from the Speelman Collection, sold at Sothebys Hong Kong, 7 October 2006, lot 803.
The modelling of the present Amitabha goes further in that it displays unusually intricate details including the wave-design decorating the inside of the alms bowl, the bejewelled feet, and the long strands of hair falling over its back (see back cover).
Buddhist images from the first half of the fifteenth century were greatly influenced by the art of Tibet. In the preceding century under the Yuan Dynasty, the authority of Mongol rulers had become closely associated with Tibetan Buddhist or Lamaist rituals. The tradition of Lamaist art continued into the Ming period and prevailed in works of art such as the present sculpture.

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