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Private Collection

Antique Chinese Marble Stone Buddha Stele
Amitabha Buddha

Lohan Trinity
Qing Dynasty, 1644-1911
h.14.5in.(37cm.) X w.10 in.(25cm.) X d.3.5 in.(9cm.)
Condition: various small chips

The carving represents Buddha Amitabha in seated meditation pose upon a double lotus throne, with two arhats (Lohan) attending. Amitabha, whose name means Infinite Light, presides over the western paradise, or Land of Bliss. The brilliant rays of his compassion reach out to the furthest expanse of the universe with magnetic power, drawing to him all of the faithful. The aureole above his head, inscribed with curling leaves, merges with the haloes of the Bodhisattvas beside him. Amitabha typically sits in dhyana mudra, in contemplation. His smiling face is sensitively detailed. The arhat on the right bears an unrestrained smile, the one at left has a more reserved mien, although this appearance may be due to some abrasion. Across the surface of the stone the artist has strewn a rhythmic pattern of shallowly carved curves repeating in the draped garments, the graceful vines around the Buddha’s head, and other details. Carved in bas relief on the front of a brick-like base are two guardian lions with incised manes and tails, who regard each other across a celestial budding flower symbolizing the lush gardens of the Pure Land. A work of great charm, which asserts its antiquity. The surface of the marble has developed an allover creamy tone with glittering highlights that recall the original whiteness. Some marks from the flat chisel are visible on the base around the lions and on the cylindrical platforms supporting the Lohan.


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