Sotheby`s to auction Buddhist art

New York: Pan-Asian Buddhist paintings and sculptures from the ancient regions of China, Japan, Tibet, and Nepal are up for auction at Sotheby`s. The works will be on display at the galleries here Sep 2-23.

The exhibition, Footsteps of the Buddha: Masterworks from Across the Buddhist World, is the first-of-its kind of sale exhibition of Buddhist works at the auction house in more than a decade.

"This exhibition provides collectors and connoisseurs with a unique perspective on a variety of cultures through the prism of Buddhism," Jacqueline Dennis, specialist, Indian and Southeast Asian Art department, said in a statement here Saturday.

"The pieces in this exhibition display the distinct artistic heritages and aesthetics of their countries of origin, but at the same time, they share a common history and iconography," added Dennis.

There are 31 pieces on display.

The highlights of the exhibition include a painting of the Kalachakra mandala, an early 15th century work; the Parinirvana of Buddha, a painting from the 16th or 17th century in Japan, which depicts parinirvana (the ultimate nirvana), which occurs with the death of the physical body of the enlightened Buddha. There will be many other works that trace the historical development and transformation of Buddhist art as it travelled throughout Asia from the 2nd century through the 21st century.

"These works express Buddhist philosophical concepts, show how Buddhism influenced the culture of the countries it penetrated, and how those countries made Buddhism their own," said Dennis.

"These timeless works of art also show how Buddhist art transformed through space and time, and continues to be a vital force in Asia today."