Northern Wei Dynasty, 386 – 534
Height: 28.6 cm
Chinese Collector, Queens, New York, before 1998.
Weisbrod Chinese Art, Ltd, New York
Victor Novotny Collection, New York
Kenneth Bendavid Collection (1952-2021)
Private Canadian Collection
Weisbrod 30 Years, An Anniversary Exhibition , Spring 2002, Weisbrod Chinese Art, Ltd. New York.
Weisbrod 30 Years, An Anniversary Exhibition , Spring 2002, Weisbrod Chinese Art, Ltd., New York.
The head of the Buddha is crisply defined with high cheekbones, a sharp straight nose, half-moon shaped eyebrows, and downcast eyes slightly turning up at the corners. The mouth is deeply carved to create sunken cheeks and an archaic smile formed by the pursed and plump lips. The hair is formed in horizontal rows of small rounded bumps highlighting two cranial protrusions on the front left and front right of the head, creating a squared shape.
On the back of the head, the hair changes pattern into vertical rows in a U-shaped hairline. The tall usnisa is also covered with rows of bumps placed high up on the head. The long earlobes extend past the chin.
Compare this head of the Buddha with a painting showing a similar hairstyle, sharply defined features, and sunken cheeks, illustrated in Masterpieces of Buddhist Statuary from Qingzhou City, page 51. In the same catalogue, also note the head of the central Buddha figure with the similar square-shaped head in the Northern Wei dynasty triad, page 64. For reference, see the Eastern Wei dynasty standing Buddha that has more rounded features in the Aurora Foundation Collection, illustrated in the Art of Contemplation - Religious Sculpture from Private Collections, plate 15.