Devotional art provides much to contemplate at Gianguan Auctions, June 25
NEW YORK – Gianguan Auctions will host a special Devotional Art online auction on Saturday, June 25, beginning at 10 am Eastern time. The 124-lot sale will feature a collection of bronze, ceramic and jade statutes as well as works of art. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Leading the sale is a 15th-century Korean Joseon dynasty gilt bronze seated figure that depicts the Buddha Amitabha, known as the Buddha of eternal life. Seated in the vajraparyankasana position with hands reflecting the dhyana mudra, a pose that assists the mind to enter a meditative state, the Buddha Amitabha’s serene face is detailed with downcast eyes, long pendulous earlobes and tightly coiled hairs. The usnisha, a three-dimensional oval crown of hair often seen atop the head of the Buddha, is surmounted by a round jewel with a hollow interior.
The Buddha Amitabha assures personal salvation and rebirth in his realm, the Western Paradise, also known as the Western Pure Land, by means of the faithful evoking his name with great reverence. This particular example of the Buddha Amitabha measures more than eight inches tall and is estimated at $4,000-$5,000.
Another Buddha, this one rendered in carved jade, one of the hardest stones to work, also finds a niche in the sale. The Chinese Tang dynasty jade is a Shakyamuni shown seated on a double-lotus throne and framed by a flame-shaped mandorla. Loose robes drape its body, and its right hand raised in the Abhaya mudra position and its left hand in the Varda mudra position.
The Buddha’s face has a meditative expression beneath the domed ushnisha, and is framed by long pendulous earlobes and an arch-form nimbus radiating behind the head, flanked by five seated bodhisattvas. On the back of the mandorla is another carved Bodhisattva, seated and draped in loose overlapping sashes. The high-relief jade carving is estimated at $10,000-$20,000.
Another work laden with religious symbolism is Lot 29, a gilt bronze seated figure of Guanyin. It is cast seated in padmasana, or the Lotus pose, with a serene expression and downcast eyes. It wears an openwork crown centered with a seated Amitabha Buddha, and the base is incised with a double-vajra. It is estimated at $8,000-$15,000.
Scholars and artists hit the high points in calligraphy and paintings. Among the strongest entries in this section of the June 25 auction is Autumn Landscape, a 1964 work by Qian Songyan. Against a backdrop of towering peaks and red leaves, Qian meticulously established the new spiritual outlook and cultural pursuit of contemporary Chinese landscape painters. Autumn Landscape is estimated at $40,000-$50,000.
Zhang Daqian, the most adept Chinese artist of the 20th century and one of its most prolific, is represented by High in the Mountains, an ink and color scroll from 1945. With towering peaks shrouded in clouds and depicting a view of scholars in seclusion, it captures Zhang’s pursuit of the inner world. It carries an estimate of $60,000-$80,000.
Together with Emperor Kangxi’s jade seal (est. $15,000-$20,000); a Tianhuang Buddhist square seal sculpted with images of a lion and two cubs (est. $5,000-$6,000); and a wide selection of Tianqi lacquer boxes from private collectors, the June 25 sale should delight bidders across the board.
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