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Sculptures > Buddhist > Buddha in Bhumisparsha-mudra
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Buddha in Bhumisparsha-mudra

Buddha in Bhumisparsha-mudra

Buddha in Bhumisparsha-mudra

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Brass Statue

14.0" x 10.0" x 7.0"
5.6 kg
Item Code:
ZJ86
Price:
$410.00
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$307.50   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
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This item can be back ordered
Time required to recreate this artwork: 3 to 5 weeks
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Viewed 10604 times since 2nd Oct, 2008
This brass statue, an outstanding example of master craftsmanship, represents Buddha in 'Bhumisparsha-mudra' or the Earth touching posture. In Buddhist tradition this posture has exceptional significance and represents one of the classical modes of his iconographic representations. This posture constitutes the exact central point to the episode of Buddha's attainment of enlightenment. Engaged in rigorous penance under the Pipal tree when Buddha was almost to attain Illumination, Evil, personified as Mara, was alarmed as feeding darkness and obstructing the process of enlightening was Mara's pronounced object. Armed with horror, fear, temptation, 'Kama' and beauty Mara attacked Buddha and tried on him all his weapons one after the other but all without effect. Confusion was the last to be tried and for confusing Buddha Mara shouted, 'Gautam, you are vanished'. Buddha calmly lowered his right arm and touching the Mother Earth with its middle finger called the universal mother to witness that he did not astray from his path. Not much after Buddha had defeated Mara there emerged divine light and Buddha was enlightened.

With sensitive delicate modelling and subtle serene expression on its face this Buddha statue adheres to the art style, iconographic features and sensuous qualities of 10th-11th century Pala bronzes of eastern India. Pala dynasty had its rule from A.D. 750 to A.D. 1175 or 1225 and its domains extended over present day Bihar, Bengal and Bengladesh. Mathura was the most influential seat of art till pre-Pala period. A heavier kind of physiognomy derived from the Gandharan Yaksha type characterised Mathura images. Mathura influence on the art of north and east continued for quite some time even during the rule of Pala dynasty. Sarnath was another centre of Buddhist art. Sarnath's physiognomy was attenuated to the form of a Yogi which had more delicate modelling and subtler expression. Nalanda, Kurkihar, Basu Bihar and Mainamati, the last two of which are now in Bengladesh, were the important centres of image casting in Pala territories. Of these Nalanda continued to follow broad features of Mathura art though with a considerable refinement and deviation. Kurkihar, however, made a subtle departure and resorted to a more angular face, small cute lips as against quite heavy ones of Mathura, delicate figure, sharp nose and a veriety of 'pithas', or pedestals. Kurkihar images were marked by a kind of melting quality of modelling and refined plasticity and were endowed with great sensitivity, luminosity, meditative calm and warm sensuousness articulated by delicate facial expressions and heightened further by shadows cast around eyes.

This Buddha image follows Kurkihar idiom of Pala bronze-art, though it has been cast in brass instead. The meditative calm, subtle serene expression on face, small cute lips, angularity of face, sharpness of features and shaded eyes are reminiscent of Pala bronzes of Kurkihar. An exceptional kind of luminosity, spirituality and tenderness combined with as strong a sensuousness marks the physiognomy of the image. Pala bronzes showed a variety of 'pithas' to instal their images. Most of them, however, consisted of lotus in one form or the other. The simplest of them, as here, could be a single lotus supported on a simple sheet. Hair in tight curls and broad forehead are features common to various styles of Buddhist iconography. In drapery, however, the artist has incorporated Tibetan element. The rich sash over the shoulders and stomach of the image, the 'dhoti' trailing on its seat and the 'kamarabanda' around his waist have a touch of the votive iconography of Tibet.

This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture.

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