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Title

Shakyamuni and Maitreya

2nd century-3rd century


Artists

Unknown Artist


About

The Gandharan school of Buddhist sculpture was one of the very first that articulated the sculptural image of the Buddha, and hence it is important in a consideration of Buddhist sculpture, as well as Buddhism. This double-sided sculpture features the historical Buddha Shakyamuni on one side and the Future Buddha Maitreya on the other. Shakyamuni can be identified by the 'cranial bump' or 'ushnisha', the elongated earlobes and the rippling monk's robe which covers both shoulders. Maitreya, by contrast, wears the garb of royalty and is depicted as a 'bodhisattva' (a compassionate being who has deferred his or her own Enlightenment in order to help others), with a moustache, distinctive looped hairdo, elegant robes, jewellery and sandals. He carries a waterpot which is a distinguishing attribute of his deity. A two sided sculpture like this, originally probably part of a pillar or similar supporting structure is rare. No other examples are known.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, October 2003.


Details


Period

Kushan period mid 1st century - early 5th century


Date

2nd century-3rd century


Media category

Sculpture


Materials used

schist


Dimensions

51.0 x 17.0 x 15.0 cm


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Purchased 2003


Accession number

358.2003



Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history


  • Walking with gods, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 01 Jun 2019–12 Jan 2020


The provenance of this work is under review and records will be updated as new details become available. The Gallery welcomes any information. Contact provenance@ag.nsw.gov.au

Provenance


Alex Biancardi, pre 1996-Nov 1998, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, on loan to the Art Gallery of New South Wales since November 1996.

Private Collection, Nov 1998-Oct 2003, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, by descent. Purchased by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2003.


Referenced in 1 publication

Bibliography


Jackie Menzies, Look, 'Evolution and enlightenment', pg. 30- 32., Sydney, Jun 2015, 31 (colour illus.).