India, Amaravati style, ca. 1st century BCE to 1st century CE. While Buddhism originated in North India, it spread to other parts of the subcontinent beginning in the 3rd century BCE. This portion of a frieze carved in the Amaravati style depicts the lower section of a standing figure, possibly Buddha, enrobed in flowing draperies with feet in a ballet "first position". Note how the style of the drapery is similar to Gandharan style, only much earlier on the art historical timeline! Size: 26" x 8-3/4" x 2-1/2".
Amaravati was a great Mahayana Buddhist center in the Andhra region, located along the southeast coast, known for its Great Stupa, most likely erected to house a relic of the Buddha from the north. Scholar S. Suresh provides further historical context for the Amaravati region, " . . . Amaravati, locally known as Dipaldinne or `Hill of Lamps', is a tiny town 35 km north of Guntur in Andhra Pradesh. Its antiquity dates back to the time when man was in a primitive stage of existence. Stone Age tools such as hand axes, cleavers, discoids and scrapers have been discovered in the region." Today remarkable sculptures from the Great Stupa are on view in the British Museum.
Condition: Fragmentary with expected wear and water stains from the ages.
Provenance: Ex-Sarkisian Gallery, collected in India in 1940's.
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