India, Sarnath, Gupta Period / Standing Buddha / 5th centuryIndia, Sarnath, Gupta Period
Standing Buddha
5th century

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Indian Sub-Continent; Indian
Creator Dates/Places: India
Creator Active Place: India
Creator Name-CRT: India, Sarnath, Gupta Period
Title: Standing Buddha
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 400
Creation End Date: 499
Creation Date: 5th century
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: sandstone
Dimensions: Overall: 76.2cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1943.278
Credit Line: Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund
Context: The Gupta period is known as the renaissance or golden age of Indian art. These terms signify the highest level of accomplishment in the plastic arts, both in physical perfection and in spiritual content. The tendency of the Gupta age, similar to that of the Western classical tradition, is to emphasize physical beauty: thus the interest in depicting the human form as youthful and idealized. The transparent clothing of the figures reveals the body, the proportions are elongated and elegant, and the postures relaxed and graceful. The images are rendered three-dimensionally with the stress on plasticity and volume. The Sanskrit term frequently used to describe this characteristic of Gupta sculpture is prana (breath), referring to the inner energy and vitality combined with three-dimensionality and plasticity. The sculptures seem alive, swelling with "inner breath," voluminous and vibrant at the same time. Consequently, prana refers as much to the spiritual as it does to the physical aspects of Gupta sculpture. This spirituality in sculpture is further emphasized by the facial expression, here unfortunately impossible to appreciate as the head of the statue is missing. This sculpture depicts an incomplete image of Buddha from the Sarnath school. Distinguishing marks of Sarnath sculpture are the buff-colored sandstone (known as the Chunar stone) and transparent clothing. Were it not for the hem of the sanghati (monastic garment) around the neck, wrist, and ankles, the figure could have passed for being unclothed. The excess fabric of the garment is gathered on both sides of the image. Evident at the waist is the line signifying the antaravasaka (undergarment) worn under the monastic garment. There was once a halo around the image decorated along the edge with scallops and beading, of which only a fragment remains on the left side. The body of Buddha sways to the side in a graceful tribhanga (three-bent) posture. The proper right arm is outstretched along the side of the body in a varada mudra (gesture of bestowing) while the other is bent at the elbow; the hand, which once held the hem of the robe, has broken off. The sequence of the arms in this instance is reversed. Usually the right hand is lifted while the left remains pendant (see 1968.40). S.C.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1943.278
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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