A SILVER INLAID COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF AVALOKITESHVARA SWAT VALLEY, 6TH/7TH CENTURY

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Lot 105
A SILVER INLAID COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF AVALOKITESHVARA
SWAT VALLEY, 6TH/7TH CENTURY

Sold for HK$ 3,180,000 (US$ 405,108) inc. premium
Premium Lot - Online Bidding Will Not Be Available
A SILVER INLAID COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF AVALOKITESHVARA
SWAT VALLEY, 6TH/7TH CENTURY
Himalayan Art Resources item no.2152
15.2 cm (6 in.) high

Footnotes

  • This beautiful figure of Avalokiteshvara is joined by a female devotee raising her hands in obeisance in the bottom left corner of the sculptural composition. Perhaps representing the ancient patron of this bronze, she wears the long dhoti, large earrings, and hairstyle of an Indian princess. Above her, the Bodhisattva of Infinite Compassion sits above a distinctive lotus, more reminiscent of the leaves of an artichoke, as Dr. Pal once described the idiom (Pal, Bronzes of Kashmir, New Delhi, 1975, p.30). He offers the gesture of boon-granting with a right hand so propitiated that the fingertips have been misshaped and worn to sharp points over the centuries.

    The Lord, who looks down with empathy, gazes with silver accented eyes and an expression that is resilient and magisterial. The silhouette of a much-rubbed Amitabha remains at the center of his diadem, and his long hair is gathered into a fan shape at the top, while thick tresses cascade along his shoulders in a manner distinctive to the Swat Valley.

    For many, Swat Valley is made famous by legends surrounding the creation of the very first image of Buddha that was commissioned during his lifetime by one of Swat's ancient rulers, King Udayana of Kaushambi, and later became an important cult image in China. Situated along the lush upper banks of the Indus river in modern day northern Pakistan, Swat Valley's contribution to the perpetuity of Buddhist art in the Western Asiatic was pivotal after Hun invasions of the ancient region of Gandhara in the 6th century had all but ceased production.. Gradually the distinctive Swat aesthetic melted into the style of adjoining Kashmir. Thereafter the art of medieval Kashmir was seminal for the formation of early Western Tibetan Buddhist art and beyond.

    The fine facial features, for which this bronze excels, distinguishes it from Kashmir types. Whereas the latter tend to have stuffed, somewhat bloated cheeks, this figure retains a more pleasing oval shape reminiscent of the Gandharan and Gupta influences on Swat before the 6th century. For the same reason his nose appears more aquiline than broader Kashmir examples. And lastly, whereas the proportions of the silver inlaid eyes can appear unrestrained and overly abstracted, to the point of being awkward, his eyes are elegant and symmetrical.

    Published
    Ulrich von Schroeder, Indo-Tibetan Bronzes, Hong Kong, 1981, pp.92-3, fig.10C.

    Provenance
    Kundus Gallery, San Francisco, before 1980
    Private American Collection


    銅錯銀觀世音菩薩像
    斯瓦特河谷,六/七世紀
    喜馬拉雅藝術資源網2152號
    高 15.2 釐米 (6 英寸)

    2,400,000-3,800,000 港元

    此尊精美的觀世音菩薩造像左下角刻畫了一位雙手合十虔誠跪拜的女信徒。此信徒纏著長長的腰布(dhoti),戴著大大的耳環,梳著印度公主的發式,可能以此尊銅像的供養人為原型。信徒上方,大慈大悲的菩薩坐於蓮花之上,其座下蓮花頗具特色,形狀好似洋薊葉,正如Pal 博士所描述(參見Pal,Bronzes of Kashmir,新德裡,1975 年,頁30 )。其右手施予願印,歷經數世紀之撫摸指尖磨損變尖。

    菩薩眼泛銀光,以慈悲同情之神俯視眾生,形像堅韌而莊嚴。其寶冠正中保有經反復磨拭之阿彌陀佛輪廓,長發在頂部盤繞成扇形,同時濃密的秀發如瀑布般垂到肩上,此為斯瓦特河谷所特有的形像。

    對於許多人來說,斯瓦特河谷之所以出名是因為一個傳說:一位斯瓦特古代統治者,古印度優填王,修造了世上第一尊佛像,後來在中國成為重要的祭祀對像。斯瓦特河谷坐落於印度河郁郁蔥蔥的上游河岸,位於今天的巴基斯坦北部地區,其作為佛像創作中心對於西亞佛像藝術的源遠流長功不可沒,特別是在六世紀匈奴人入侵古代犍陀羅地區致藝術創作幾乎停息之後。漸漸地,特色鮮明的斯瓦特審美似乎融入到相鄰的克什米爾風格中。之後,中世紀克什米爾藝術對於藏西早期藝術的形成和發展具有開創性影響。

    此尊銅像勝在對五官之刻畫細致入微,此與克什米爾風格有所不同。與後期傾向於飽滿、稍顯臃腫的面頰不同,此尊造像保留了更為賞心悅目的橢圓形面頰,反映出六世紀前犍陀羅與笈多風格對斯瓦特的影響。而且,造像的鼻子更似鷹鉤鼻,不同於克什米爾風格寬鼻梁。最後,克什米爾風格中有時錯銀眼睛會出現比例失調或過度抽像的情形,而此尊造像的雙眼則完美對稱、精致典雅。

    著作
    馮·施羅德,印度與西藏的銅造像,香港,1981 年,頁92-93,圖 10C。

    來源
    Kundus畫廊,舊金山,1980 年之前
    美國私人收藏
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A SILVER INLAID COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF AVALOKITESHVARA SWAT VALLEY, 6TH/7TH CENTURY
A SILVER INLAID COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF AVALOKITESHVARA SWAT VALLEY, 6TH/7TH CENTURY
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