SculpturesThe Boon...

The Boon of Knowledge and Wisdom

The Boon of Knowledge and Wisdom
Specifications:
Brass Statue
2.0 ft X 0.7 ft X 0.5 ft
10.3 Kg
Item Code: EJ27
Quantity:
Price: $528.00
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This standing figure of Buddha, represents such phase of his life when for forty years he traveled from one place to other, from this end of India to that, telling the suffering mankind the truth that he had realised and propagating the religion of Three Noble Gems, Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Noble Path. Amongst Buddha's earliest representations in art, especially sculpture, Buddha's standing images seem to have preceded others and to have prevailed more. It was undoubtedly for votive use that his images came into being and it were primarily the walls of monasteries and chaityas where such images were carved. May be, the walls of these rock-cut monasteries and chaityas allowed little scope for seated postures as these required greater depth perspective difficult to carve on a hard rock-surface. These walls, consisting of hard rocks, allowed greater scope for relief images and it were standing icons that could better evolve in relief technique.

During the Gupta period the Buddhist sculptural art reached its zenith and his standing images not only largely captured the art scenario and came out with a tremendous variety of themes and styles but also excelled in their plasticity, modelling and over-all excellence. Now besides stone, metal was another popular medium for these votive images. Devotees needed smaller and lighter images for personal shrines and sometimes to carry them from one place to the other. There also developed the fashion of gifting Buddha's statues. Obviously, being massive and heavy, the stone sculptures could suit a monastery or shrine but not the other purposes. Metal casts better suited for such subsidiary purposes and hence by the middle of the Gupta period metal images were as much in vogue. Some of the earliest images of Buddha depicting him in standing postures, recovered from various parts of northern India, especially Govind Nagar (Mathura), Dhanesar Khera, Phophnar, Ramtek, Sarnath, Nalanda etceteras, now in the collections of various museums of the world, define the golden era of India's sculptural art and metal cast. Buddha's standing icons, by the movement of his legs, represented him traveling, by the gesture of his fingers, teaching, by the demeanour of his palm, imparting abhaya and the like.

This image depicts his right hand in the mudra of fearlessness (abhaya) while the left holds a book and makes the varada (boon-granting) mudra. The latter gesture signifies that the venerable One here is the bestower of the boon of knowledge and wisdom.

The Buddha's eyes are inward looking in contemplative meditation. The deftly carved folds of the monastic robe suggest the skilfulness of the sculptor. This garment waterfalls down to his feet, as if paying obeisance to the Great Master.

The sculpture was cast in Aligarh, a small town situated in the heart of India.


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