Our curated selection, entitled Solemnity, in our forthcoming Fine Asian & Islamic Works of Art auction includes a selection of religious figures focusing on two thousand years of Asian art, juxtaposing Vajrayana and Mahayana Buddhist, Daoist, and Hindu traditions. This section starts with an early Buddhist sculpture, a rare Western Himalayan cast copper alloy figure of Shakyamuni (lot 44) from the Swat Valley. Then moving geographically eastwards and chronologically forward, we present you a series of Eastern Himalayan and Chinese sculptures, celebrating a multitude of materials and artisanship, including cast gilt, lacquered bronze, and carved wooden divine figures from the Song (960-1279) to Qing Dynasties (1644-1912) (lot 45-52).
Painted works are also crucial within Asian religious art. Featuring here are a pair of stucco fresco panels of important Daoist goddess, Xiwangmu- Queen Mother of the West, dated to the Ming Dynasty. These panels would possibly been part of the wall of a temple (lot 53). Moving from Daoist to Vajrayana Buddhist tradition, from China to Tibet, we have two thangkas in this section (lot 54-55) and gilt bronze figures (lot 56-58).
Solemnity also features a number of comparatively unusual materials depicting divine iconographies, including jade and soapstone carvings, ranging from the Qing Dynasty to the Republic Period (lot 59-62). Worth mentioning is a Japanese grey stone stele of Nyoirin Kanon, Edo Period (lot 63), from the collection of the renowned late businessman Sir Ernest Ridley Debenham (1865-1952). Lot 64 is the only porcelain figure, depicting Cundi Bodhisattva the pearly white Blanc De Chine glaze reflects the divinity and purity of a religious figure.
Ending this section, we move across to India. Representing Hindu art is lot 65, a red sandstone head of Vishnu, dated to ca. 6 century. The above gives us an overview of religious figures across Asia, a series of beautiful and important works that all share the same sacred and artistic language - solemnity.
Viewing at 22 Connaught St, London from Sunday 8th to Thursday 12th May, 10am-5pm each day.