Ancient region of Gandhāra
Circa 3rd century
H: 67 cm or 26 ½ in
Finely modeled in the classic Gandharan style, Buddha appears before his worshippers with a compassionate yet determined expression. His enlightened nature is expressed through the flawless rendition of his physiognomy – his youthful and perfectly smooth face, his straight and prominent nose, and his impeccably carved wavy hair radiating from the center of the hairline.
The ancient region of Gandhara was once an important center for trade and religious activities. Carved stone monuments and iconic statuary were created for Buddhist patrons while drawing on Greco-Roman sculptural traditions. The present work is one such example, incorporating the emphasis on naturalism, seen in the treatment of his heavy monastic robe wrapping around his neck in thick layers and forming U-shaped folds on his legs with a convincing sense of gravity.
The figure was once affixed to a Buddhist monument, generally the original architectural context of most Gandharan sculpture, as indicated by the two anchor holes on its base.
Compare to another standing Gandharan Buddha sold at Bonhams, Hong Kong, 29 November 2016, lot 112. Also see a similar example in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Behrendt, The Art of Gandhara, New York, 2007, p.51, no.40).
Provenance: Sotheby’s London, 3rd December 1956, lot 42 ; Vérité Collection, France, 1956-2009.