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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Standing Marble Figure of Buddha, Northern Qi Dynasty, circa 550 AD"
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This standing marble figure represents Amitabha, the Buddha of Compassion, who is often shown standing with similar mudras (hand gestures) and robed in simple monk’s clothing, as in the present sculpture. In Buddhist theology Amitabha presides over the Western or Pure Land paradise, where devout Buddhists believe they will be reborn. Amitabha’s cult was widespread in China by the mid-6th century and had a strong appeal; Buddhists were promised to enter his paradise simply by repeating his name with devotion. The Buddha’s left hand is lowered in the gesture of liberality (varada mudra), while his right arm and missing hand are raised, probably in the gesture of reassurance (abhaya mudra). The figure would have originally been standing on a lotus leaf pedestal, as evinced by the section of leaf on the reverse. The Buddha has a serene expression, with eyes half-closed under arched brows.
The plain yet finely curved drapery of the Buddha's robe, as well as the smooth ushnisha, link this figure to the Northern Qi period. For a close comparable, see the seated marble Buddha in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (Museum no. A.36-1950), which has very similar facial characteristics and folding of the drapery. See also the massive standing Buddha Amitabha in the British Museum (1938,0715.1), which is a slightly later version of this type from the Sui Period (581-614), with a similar pose and eyes-closed expression. The condition of the surface of the marble, which is crystallised with layers of encrustation and discolouration from water or soil seepage evident, also confirm its early dating.
|Height||44.00 cm||(17.32 inches)|