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Archive: 2007

Ms Roslyn Packer AO generously assists 25th Anniversary
acquisition
of 2nd century Seated Buddha

 

Kushana period 'Seated Buddha' late 1st-2nd century Mathura / India, sculpture, red sandstone, 129.5 x 101.5 x 30.5 cm, acquired with the generous assistance of Roslyn Packer 2007

Kushana period 'Seated Buddha' late 1st-2nd century Mathura / India, sculpture, red sandstone, 129.5 x 101.5 x 30.5 cm, acquired with the generous assistance of Roslyn Packer AO 2007

Ron Radford AM, Director of the National Gallery of Australia, announced the acquisition of an important stone 2nd century Seated Buddha. The acquisition of Seated Buddha is in celebration of the National Gallery of Australia’s 25th Anniversary and has been made possible though the generous assistance of Ms Roslyn Packer AO.

The Seated Buddha, is the earliest Buddha within an Australian collection and is a key work of the Art of the Indian Subcontinent Gallery, the first in an Australian public gallery devoted to the display of Indian art.

Created during the Kushan dynasty (1st - 3rd century) the distinctive mottled red sandstone of this Buddha image is typical of the Mathuran region of northern India. Buddhism flourished in India during this time and it was during the Kushan dynasty that the representation of the Buddha, with his characteristic features of a cranial protuberance and extended earlobes became the enduring iconography for the depiction of Buddha.

The Seated Buddha is a superb early example of this key development in Asian art. Several of the 32 marks of a Great Being are present on the work of art – the tuft of hair between the eyebrows [urna], a broad chest, wheels on the soles of the feet, folds of flesh at the neck and elongated earlobes. Seated in the meditation posture with his legs crossed the Seated Buddha’s presence is palpable and powerful, reflecting the artist’s skill in depicting corporeality.

The acquisition is the fourth major work of art to be acquired as part of the 25th Anniversary Gifts Program. Ms Roslyn Packer AO will visit the National Gallery of Australia at 11.30am on Tuesday 28 August to be photographed with the acquisition, Seated Buddha.

 

Photo Opportunity 11.30am Tuesday 28 August
Ms Roslyn Packer AO with 2nd century Seated Buddha
National Gallery of Australia, Asian Art Galleries

 

Media information and images
Todd Hayward
+61 2 6240 6700
todd.hayward@nga.gov.au