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Polychrome Stone Buddha Statue
Shakyamuni
Buddha Blessing Stele
Circa: Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644 A.D.
H 28" (71cm.), W 12.5" (32cm.), D 5.5" (14m.)
Condition: chip on base, pigment loss

 

Sold To Private Collection

One up, one down; Shakyamuni displays the vitarka mudra on his right hand pointing towards the heavens, while his left displays the varada mudra downwards towards the earth. Gestures of protection and charity, respectively, together they achieve a notable aesthetic equilibrium; the bottoms of his palms perfectly in-line with his navel. Indicative of the pieces’ Chinese origins, Taoism considers the navel as the major emotional center of being, in addition to the main storage spot for ch’i (energy). Shakyamuni’s gestures center our attention on this point, ‘the mind palace’, a beautiful symmetry throughout.

Wonderfully sculpted and painted with a heavy a red, blue, and cream white pigments, which held up well despite the pieces’ age. Its Ming dynasty styling is apparent in the very shape of the Buddha’s body, short and stout; the three folds upon his neck. Hand carved chisel marks cover every unpainted surface, the rest, including his skin, is smooth. His face is deeply downcast and serene, a gesture of blessing beneath heavy lids.

  
  
  
  
  
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