Tête de Buddha


Entre 589 et 618
Pierre, Polychromie
Don manuel : Loo, Ching-Tsai 卢芹斋
M.C. 5837

This head of Buddha was donated by the celebrated art dealer Ching Tsai Loo (1880-1957) in 1920. The spiralling hairstyle identifies the figure as a pratyeka-buddha. This kind of Buddha attains enlightenment through his own efforts, without having made the vow to teach others how to achieve release from the cycle of reincarnations. In Mahayana (“Great Vehicle”) Buddhism, pratyeka-buddhas occupy an intermediate rank between the Buddhas and the bodhisattvas. They therefore display certain physical characteristics of Buddhahood. The ūrṇā, which once featured an incrusted semiprecious stone, is clearly visible at the base of the forehead. The pratyeka-buddhas are among those who listen to Shakyamuni teach the Lotus Sutra, as shown in the stela gifted by Marie-Madeleine Wannieck (dated 560, Northern Qi dynasty, M.C. 8763-a).