A large bronze figure of Shakyamuni Buddha, Western Wei dynasty, inscribed with a date corresponding to 539

西魏大統五年 銅釋迦牟尼佛坐像

Details

A large bronze figure of Shakyamuni Buddha
Western Wei dynasty, inscribed with a date corresponding to 539
西魏大統五年 銅釋迦牟尼佛坐像

銘文:
大統五年歲在己未六月癸未朔二日甲申永川寺比丘惠樂造 釋迦牟尼像一區 仰為皇帝陛下七世所主因緣 眷屬法界眾生 住靜佛□□銅有身

Height 11⅛ in., 28.2 cm.

PROVENANCE
Nakanishi Bunzo, Kyoto.
James Freeman, Kyoto.
Collection of Norman Kurland.
Eskenazi Ltd., London.

來源
中西文三收藏,京都
James Freeman 收藏,京都
Norman Kurland 收藏
埃斯卡納齊,倫敦

EXHIBITED
Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2001.
Six Dynasties Art from the Norman A. Kurland Collection: Part One, Eskenazi Ltd., London, 2017, cat. no. 26.

展覽
哈佛藝術博物館,劍橋,麻薩諸塞州,2001年
《Six Dynasties Art from the Norman A. Kurland Collection: Part One》,埃斯卡納齊,倫敦,2017年,編號26

This important inscribed bronze figure depicts Shakyamuni Buddha seated in virasana on a waisted Sumeru throne raised on a four-legged pedestal. The right hand is held in abhaya mudra and the left hand in varada mudra. The intricately articulated robe covers the shoulders and falls in waves over the body and the front of the throne, the dynamism of the fabric's numerous folds alluding to the magnanimous energy within the divine sitter. This sculpture is a superb work of art which testifies to the enduring influence of Northern Wei (386-534) visual traditions on Western Wei (535-557) artistic practices. Cast in the 5th year of the latter dynasty, the style of the present sculpture draws upon representations of the Buddha found in Northern Wei sculptures, such as the figures carved in stone at the Longmen Cave Temples. The inscription on the base records that the present sculpture was commissioned by Monk Huile of the Yongchuan Temple. A similar depiction of a seated Buddha in stone, dated to 540, is illustrated in Saburo Matsubara, A History of Chinese Buddhist Sculpture, Tokyo, 1995, pl. 259B
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