Acquired from the above by a private Boston based collector, in the 1990's
The frieze shows a devotional scene with the Buddha preaching among a group of monks, bodhisattvas and donors. The scene is inserted in a classical architecture, defined on both sides by two columns made of elegant geometrical motives.
At the center stands the Buddha; his right hand (missing) is in abhaya mudra (gesture of protection) and the left one is securing his monastic robe. At both sides, and above and below the Buddha, stand monks, bodhisattvas and donors, all them in gestures of devotion and worship.
This frieze was decorating the walls of a stupa, the most famous Buddhist monument, and shows a fine hellenistic influence. The figures are well proportioned, their attitude shows a classical plasticity. The overlapping and intersecting of the garment pleats reinforce the classical style of the frieze and an impression of vitality, endowing it with an aristocratic elegance.
The frieze has been made by the typical stone of Gandhara sculptures and monuments, a schist of blue-grey colour, that in this case is in a good condition.
Expert: Renzo Freschi
Renzo Freschi is an expert in Oriental Art and has extensively travelled within Asia since 1971. He has curated over forty monographic exhibitions on different aspects and periods of Asian art and has published several catalogues on the subject. In 2013 he curated the public exhibition The magic of India, from the Temple to the Court, masterpieces of Indian Art, showcasing more than 200 works of Indian art from the most important Italian collections.
Artiana would like to thank Renzo Freschi for his expertise and assistance in preparing this catalogue entry.