is said to be the final nirvana, possible upon the death of someone who has obtained
complete awakening, and implies a release from the cycle of death and birth known
as samsara. This 20th century Chinese carving of the sleeping Shakyamuni combines
elements of classical Chinese symmetry and elaborate Tibetan ornamentation. It
is sculpted in pieces from a hardened teak wood, the Buddha reclining on an elongated
plinth raised by four short legs in the form of totie masks. Rising from the two-tired
plane of the platform are immaculately carved through wooden screens, curving
and looping into animal forms (dragons, peacocks) and geometric patterns.
concentric folds of the Buddha’s robe is a distinctly Chinese style of carving,
each rounded fold of his robe flowing from and into the next, creating a sense
of movement akin to waves, or the shapes of weathered sand dunes. Simple and symmetrical,
but elegant and moving. This depiction of his passing is not meant to evoke sadness,
but a feeling that all beings have potential to become enlightened and attain
release from suffering; his smile meant to communicate the attainment of the highest
state of meditation. A beautiful piece in excellent condition.
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