Possibly Cypress Wood with Traces of Polychrome Color
Yuan Dynasty 元朝 (AD1279-1368)
Height: 19 inches (48.26 cm)
This monumental head of Buddha has a youthful and benevolent expression characteristic of the Yuan period. The crown is intact and the entire bust is rendered splendidly in masterful workmanship. Wooden examples of this type are rare from this period as stone depictions are more common. In our opinion, the stylistic subject matter, material and workmanship suggest a Yuan dynasty date for this wooden head depicting the Buddha.
Reference Number 2999
A stone Buddha with similar facial expression from the same period is published in Collecting Chinese Art, Sam Bernstein, University of Washington Press, Seattle, 2000, Plate 69, Pages 84-85.
See a similar stone Buddha with tiara of the same period illustrated in Chinese Art Under the Mongols: The Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368). Sherman Lee. Cleveland Museum of Art, 1968. Pl. 1, pg. 113.
Yuan dynasty sculptural elements are discussed in Zhongguo meishu quanji diaosu bian, 5, Wudai, Song [Chinese Art Series: Sculpture, Vol. 5, Five Dynasties-Song], Shi Yai, ed., Beijing: People’s Art Publishing, 1988. Page 10.
For a discussion of Buddhism in China see Iconography of Religions An Introduction. Albert C. Moore. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1977. Pages 170-180.
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