4584

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Large Kandyan Period Cast Brass Standing Buddha

Sri Lanka
18th century

height without stand (32cm), with stand: 38cm

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Provenance

private collection, UK. The previous owner built up a collection of Buddha images mostly from old UK colonial sources, and did so over a long lifetime.

This fine example of a Kandyan-style standing Buddha is finely cast in brass. It is typically Kandyan in some respects but it is also unusual for its height – it is relatively large – and also because the figure is unusually plump.

The stylised pose with its broad shoulders, and the pear-shaped, prominent, flamingunisha orsirispata (crown protuberance) that rises from his head are characteristic of Kandyan sculptures of the 18th century. Certain standards employed in the preparation of wax models (used in casting) contributed to this stylistic consistency.

The robes orcivara are long and folded in a typical way for a Kandyan 18th century standing depiction of the Buddha. They are decorated with deep, wavy lines, front and back.

The Buddha stands with his right hand held aloft in thejnana mudra (‘teaching’) position.

The feet are rectangular, the right nipple is exposed, the shoulders remarkably broad and square, the face rounded with downcast eyes, a wide nose and thin eyebrows, and the head is decorated with tight curls – all these are typical of the 18th century Kandyan style.

The images shows traces of polychrome and lacquer decoration. Remnants are visible most particularly in the wavy lines engraved on the robes.

The image is in fine condition. There is some age-related mottling to the brass here and there. It has been mounted on a wooden stand.

References

Coomaraswamy, A.K., Bronzes from Ceylon, Chiefly in the Colombo Museum,Colombo Museum, 1914 (reprinted 1988).

Coomaraswamy, A.K., Mediaeval Sinhalese Art, Pantheon Books, 1956 reprint of the 1908 edition.

Phoenix Art Museum, Guardian of the Flame: Art of Sri Lanka, Phoenix Art Museum, 2003.

De Silva, P.H.D.H., A Catalogue of Antiquities and Other Cultural Objects from Sri Lanka (Ceylon) Abroad,National Museums of Sri Lanka, 1975.

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