THE COLOSSAL BUDDHAS AT BAMIYAN THEIR INFLUENCE O...

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p. 109 In the fourth century of our era, when the Greco-buddhist art of Gandhara and of Kapisa seemed irretrievably on the decline, there appeared in that part of India held by the Gupta emperors from Sarnath to Mathura certain works inspired by a return to the national tradition, which may be rated among the most appealing and most beautiful expressions of Indian sculpture. The late schist bas-reliefs of Kapisa display a confusion of forms where of the clumsiness is particularly accented when contrasted with the delicate slenderness of the great buddhas of Mathura (Figs. I, 2). This contrast is plain, however, not only in the handling of anatomical detail, but it is equally evident in the rendering of the drapery. In late Grerco-buddhist sculpture the drapery is highly stylized: for the deep folds of the Hellenistic prototypes padded ridges were substituted at wide intervals. (Figs.I, 2). It is in antithesis to this meagreness, this stiffness, that the works of the Mathura school seem endowed with magnificent grace:the delicate folds, clinging to the body as

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anatomically. but are cloaked in robes completely devoid of folds. diverging. from the parallel toward the centre of the breast to curve upward and return toward the right shoulder." This rendering of the drapery in close padded ridges is virrtually that of the Mathura sculptors. "On the right thigh of the great Buddha the holes for the wooden pegs which supported the mortar still form a dotted line. Hsuan Tsang.(1) separate at the left shoulder and curve inward over the right side of the chest to return upwards in the direction of the right shoulder. however. Y. the drapery resembles padded ridges arranged in parallel lines from the left shoulder. Godard. On these grounds we cannot believe that the sculpture of Mathura is descended directly from that of Gandhara. Hackin. visited Bamiyan in 632 and has left us a description of the two colossal buddhas carved in the cliff of tertiary conglomerate that flanks the valley. on the one hand. In other words. These same models determined also the style of sculpture in farther Asia: MM. Pl. indicating the original course of the folds or monastic garments (Fig. Le Coq and Paul Pelliot and Sir Aurel Stein have brought to light sculpture showing this same characteristic drapery. In our opinion the origin of this very characteristic drapery in close.folds is to be found at Bamiyan in Afghanistan. transparent fabric (Fig.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-ENG/hac.ntu. where.edu. On the lower part of the body--and this treatment is not without importance--the thighs are covered with symmetric folds. that the work at Bamiyan is decidedly earlier than that of Mathura.3).htm though the garment were of thin. In the spots where this support still remains. Les Antiquites Bouddbiques de Bamiyan. the treatment resembles an expanse of water stirred by a gentle breeze. 2 A. We have had an opportunity to examine(2) the original method developed by the Bamiyan artisans for fixing the lime mortar shell which was employed to show the folds of the monastic robes on the figures. very similar in conformation to those of Mathura.. where patently the figures are. 111 the Buddha of Schor-tschuq(3) published by M: A. http://ccbs. Paris 1928. 12-13. XXXIXa. von Le Cog (Figs. pp. on the other it is the tranquil reflection of a still pool. It goes without saying. Nothing could be more natural than that the artists of Mathura were inspired by the statues at Bamiyan justly famous at that time throughout the Buddhist world.THE COLOSSAL BUDDHAS AT BAMIYAN THEIR INFLUENCE O. These pegs and cords served as a support for the lime mortar coating. To illustrate this point it is sufficient to examine side by side the thirty-four metre Buddha at Bamiyan and ________________________________ 1 Annual Report of the Archaeological Survey of India. 1922-23. p. 4).. naturally. Godard and J. This particular rendering of the drapery is also found no more distant from India than Sarnath. 6). In both examples the folds still curve inward toward the right side of the breast in 2 de 5 08/12/2010 17:26 . The Chinese pilgrim. Cords were stretched from one peg to the next and these cords are still to be seen in places. von. 5.

by S. 10). Berlin (Figs. C. for an analysis of this valuable article we are under obligation to M. 3). a copy was made by order of the Japanese monk Chonen. executed by a sculptor named Chang Jong. to the great Buddha at Bamiyan. at the end of the tenth century. Kyoto. their forebear in style. In the statue at the Metropolitan (dated 476) the gestures of the two hands are not precisely abhaya-mudra (gesture of reassurance made by the right hand) or varamudra (gesture of dispensing favours made by the left) yet all examples though of different origin may be traced back.(5) If one can give credence to one text written by the monk Jozan. so celebrated in the Buddhist world. XXI. 10)..htm order to extend up the length of the body.1. (Fig.edu. The replica at Seiryo-ji follows. an original which must have been related to the statue of Mathura. Serge Elisseev. Bukkyo Bijutsu No. it seems plain. We have observed. this image of the Seiryo-ji was a copy. XXXIX. PI. 11). 4 A Bronze-gilt Statue of the Wei Period. after many vicissitudes in the imperial palace of the Chinese capital Pien King (K'ai Feng-fu) and it was there that. of the famous sandalwood figure(6) which King Udayana had made when the Buddha was preaching the law to his mother in the heaven of the thirty-three deities. October. in our next example from Mathura (Fig. The well-known statue at the Seiryo Temple. for example. with the abhaya-mudra present and the gesture of the left hand being in the majority of instances. that in the lower part of the robe the wrinkles curve inward at the crotch in order to cover the legs and the thighs with symmetrical up-pointing folds. Nov. pupil and travelling companion of Chhoen. a text which is little more than a compilation of works written by the monks Sonan and Jumei. judging by the median drapery. with certain clumsy renderings. 3 de 5 08/12/2010 17:26 . in examining out first example from Mathura (Fig. found asylum. 1924. At Mathura itself this treatment was little by little abandoned. beside the great Buddha in Fig.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-ENG/hac. which represents. No. also of Chinese provenance. This selfsame innovation travelled to Yun Kang (the attendant figure. but in flat: relief. http://ccbs. does not deviate from this standard treatment. Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum.THE COLOSSAL BUDDHAS AT BAMIYAN THEIR INFLUENCE O. 8) this rhythm reaches the breast and we maintain that all these short lines if prolonged would extend to the middle of the upper part of the body. which we have had occasion to ________________________ 3 A. Otto Buchard. and that this statue. von Le Cog. a detail which we find again in two specimens. one in the Metropolitan Museum(4) the other belonging to Dr. According to the Nihongi Ryakky the Kyoto figure was brought to Japan from China in 987 by the monk Chonen of the Todai Temple.ntu. Bosch Reitz. Spatantica I. Of this legendary attribution we need only believe the part confirming the Indian origin. 1927 (Vol. 7) but here the folds were represented not as rounded quiltings.. and the folds are arranged according to a somewhat different rhythm. without exception. the varamudra. Text ia Japanese. 5 Hi Minamoto. This piece is of undoubted antiquity and is closely related in other respects to models in the Gupta style which have been questioned. The Buddha sratuc of tbe Seiryo-ji Temple in Kyoto. 9.

through. Bunsaburo Matsumoto to maintain. The Kunyer (keeper of images) said that the images represented the Buddha at the age of twelve. Paul Pelliot translated (Journal Asiatique. the other at Lhassa where it is included in the treasures of the 4 de 5 08/12/2010 17:26 . one preserved in the monastery or Kum-bun. the folds are arranged in unrelated curves which cover the right leg and the left leg separately while on the Mathura statue the return is brought about in the space between the legs by a simple fold which is nothing but a perfect continuation of the rhythmic folds covering the breast.htm 6 We should here note in regard to this famous sandalwood Buddha that M. The Tibetans also boast of owning statues which were made during the life of the Buddha." Two other statues. "The image is life-sized and exquisitely modelled and represents a handsome young prince. below the knees. taking the head as a centre. It should be noted-further that the Seiryo-ji Buddha displays a tendency. to the great buddhas at Bamiyan.. there seems to us no chance of admitting any other than a purely Indian origin for the piece of sculpture which inspired and guided the artist who executed the replica at Seiryo-ji. XI series. http://ccbs. a mannerism characteristic of Gupta sculpture? This work. p. the same intermediates. related as. a relation of T'ang T'ai Tsung and wife of the Tibetan king Sron Tsan Sgam-po (mid seventh century) Sarat Sandra Das(8) who tells this tale. The majority of Japanese scholars have come to the same conclusion. after examination of the Sakya of Seiryo-ji.THE COLOSSAL BUDDHAS AT BAMIYAN THEIR INFLUENCE O. hence the princely apparel in which he is clothed and the dissimilarity of the image to those seen elsewhere. harks back. 11). where in K'ang Hsi dedicated the temple of Chan T'an Ssu (or the Temple of Sandalwood) in Peking in 1721 to this sandalwood figure which was considered the true statue that had miraculously come to China. On the lower part of the body. extend like ripples all ever the rode. p. It is only necessary for us to introduce the opinion of M. 8). in common with certain Central Asian works (those of Turfan in particular) of showing the garments clinging closely to the forward planes of the things. 115 describe at the beginning of the present discussion (Fig.ntu. Vol. 188-190) the memoir. yet the statue of Seiryo-ji has these folds but more compact and also more irregularly arranged(Fig. with folds which.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-ENG/hac. just as in the case of the Mathura Statue. it is sufficient for us to note here that the folds extend.IV. July-August 1914.. it is to the tradition of the Gupta school.edu. This statue was included among the treasures taken to Tibet by the Wen-Cheng. where it was on display to be adored by the faithful. After examining carefully these small differences in the rendering of she drapery. from the centre of the breast. that the body is covered by a sheer garment. The legend relates that the first Indian statue was sent to the Emperor of China by the King of Magadha in recognition of aid lent by the Emperor at a time when Magadha was attacked by the Yavanas (the Greeks). saw this figure in the chief temple at Lhassa.

Journey to Lbassa and Central Tibet. which shows a person of youthful mien. VIII. We find here again the characteristic median drapery. L'Art greco-bouddbique du Gandbara. P. See also A. p. No. as well as the four folds which divide at the shoulder and terminate in a diagonal across the thighs. No.edu. CXCI. but we can gain some idea of them from the figures in modern Tibetan books.htm Temple or the Master (Jo-Khan) comprise. the latter being without any doubt near relations to the figure at Seiryo-ji. Bukkyo Bijutsu. Figure 12. 105..(10) if we may judge by the dhyani buddha enthroned in the headdress. Pl. Pl. p. it seems to us reasonable to relate these later copies to the figures on view at Lhassa. http://ccbs. The Land of the Lamas. April-June. 8 Sarat Sandra Das.THE COLOSSAL BUDDHAS AT BAMIYAN THEIR INFLUENCE O. Rockhill. 767-771. Notes on a Journey through China. 5 de 5 08/12/2010 17:26 . Les Grottes bouddbiques de Touen Houang. II.ntu. Pelliot. p 201-202. Unfortunately no photograph of the two statues actually at Lhassa are available. 589-590 and p. 116 (Fig. 47. Vol. X. W. etc. with a headdress of five jeweled points and long hanging ear-rings. with a stylization differing in one respect: the oblique folds of the preceding figure are here reduced to four strokes which represent on the upper part of the skirt three wings reminiscent in a singular manner of the drapery on the torso. This authority agrees with M. A second example ________________________ 7 Cited by H. Distortion after distortion brings us thus to a rendering hopelessly divergent from the fine early standard and exhausts the subject which can well be brought to a close here. will prove to be a reproduction of the statue at the main temple of Lhassa. This subject will merit a second article. Vol. These appear as most graceless superfluities. Serindia. 13) shows Avalokitesvata. CCLXXXV. Minamoto. and the one at Kum-bun the Nirmanakaya. Foucher. Indo-China (the Buddha of Dong-Du'o'ng) and extending even to China by the maritime route.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-ENG/hac. We cannot nerre make any allusion to the influence exercised by the Mathura school on the sculpture of Ceylon. Munsabura Matsumoto and brings forward certain works which seem to him to possess similarities to the Seiryo-ji figure Ancient Khotan Pl.. etc.. V. 642. p. these have folds of the drapery rendered in the same characteristic manner and.. ____________________ 10 Art Bouddbique Catalogue Sommaire de la 4e exhibition des Arts de l'Asie au Musee Cernuschi. 9 W. 1. 1923. therefore. representing the Buddha in the guise of a youthful prince. Mongolia and Tibet. that at Peking the Sambhogakaya. Fig. XVII. together with the figure at Chan-T'an Ssu the triad of original images which the Tibetan lamas designated under the name of Sku Gsum--three bodies (Sanskrit: Kaya traya the one at Lhassa being the Dharmakaya.