116
116
A RARE LIMESTONE 'LONGMEN' RELIEF FRAGMENT OF A SEATED BODHISATTVA
NORTHERN WEI DYNASTY
Estimation
500 000700 000
Lot. Vendu 1,240,000 HKD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT
116
A RARE LIMESTONE 'LONGMEN' RELIEF FRAGMENT OF A SEATED BODHISATTVA
NORTHERN WEI DYNASTY
Estimation
500 000700 000
Lot. Vendu 1,240,000 HKD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Chinese Art through the Eye of Sakamoto Gorō

|
Hong Kong

A RARE LIMESTONE 'LONGMEN' RELIEF FRAGMENT OF A SEATED BODHISATTVA
NORTHERN WEI DYNASTY
the grey stone with traces of a white layer, deftly carved with a youthful bodhisattva seated with legs crossed at the ankles, head slightly tilted to his left, the left hand raised in abhayamudra and the right hand resting on his knee while grasping the hem of the robe cascading over his legs in pleated folds, parted at the ankles to reveal the bare feet symmetrically pointed down at an angle, the slender elongated torso with tapered waist left bare save for a low-relief torque and a thin shawl draped across the shoulders with ends intersecting at the waist, the benevolent face detailed with bow-shaped eyes below arched brows issuing from the curve of the broad nose, all above well-defined lips drawn in a beatific smile, further framed by pendulous earlobes and a tall flaring crown, wood stand
31.6 cm., 12 1/2  in.
Lire le rapport d'état Lire le rapport d'état

Provenance

Acquired between the 1950s and 60s.

Description

The present figure of a bodhisattva is carved in the distinctive style characteristic of the Longmen cave temples located south of Luoyang in Henan province. He has a face that conveys a focused, yet gentle and kind expression, suggesting contemplation and reflection and, overall, radiates a sense of peace and calmness. The body is also slender and elegant, fashioned to convey a sense of feminine fluidity and grace. The compact size of the figure suggests that he was possibly carved between larger figures and placed in one of the many niches that were made around the walls of the caves. A similar small example, in the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida, is illustrated in the Museum’s publication A Handbook of the Chinese Collections, Palm Beach, 1972, pl. 103.

Comparable bodhisattvas from the Longmen cave temples, seated in a similar pose with legs crossed at the ankles, may be found in a number of museums and private collections. For example, see two illustrated in Osvald Sirén, Chinese Sculptures in the von der Heydt Collection, Zurich, 1959, pls. 11-2, in the Museum Rietberg, Zurich; another included in the exhibition Ancient Chinese Sculpture, Eskenazi, London, 1978, cat. no. 8; one in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, published in Alan Priest, Chinese Sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1944, pl. XXII; and a further cross-legged figure but in the ‘pensive’ pose, currently in the Longmen Museum, included in the museum’s catalogue Longmen Bowuguan [Longmen Museum], Zhengzhou, 2005, cat. no. 5.

Another Longmen limestone bodhisattva, now in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, is illustrated in Rene-Yvon Lefebvre d’Argence (ed.), Chinese, Korean and Japanese Sculpture in the Avery Brundage Collection, Tokyo, 1974, pl. 35, together with two further examples pls. 37 and 38, the former in the ‘pensive’ pose. Compare two bodhisattva figures depicted in situ at Longmen published in Zhongguo meishu quanji [The complete collection of Chinese art], vol. 11, Shanghai, 1988, pls. 52-3; and another, in the collection of the Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts published in Longmen liusan diaoxiang ji [The lost statues of Longmen caves], Shanghai, 1993, pl. 9.  

Chinese Art through the Eye of Sakamoto Gorō

|
Hong Kong