Art of Gandhara
2nd/3rd century
Schist, H. 31 cm
Price on request

In this relief, the bodhisattva sits under a pavilion, beside a capital. Two other figures appear to his left; one, below, holding a garland, the other inside a shrine with hands in prayer. The scene gives an overall impression of intimate and pensive reflection: the eyes are open but the gaze seems to be lost in a dimension of great sweetness and inner serenity

This intimist suggestion, so rare in most Eastern art, is certainly the most fascinating feature of this sculpture, which appears as an icon of human religiosity.

The work was presented at the “The Art of Gandhara” exhibition and published in the catalogue on page 47.

Art of Gandhara
Schist, 15 by 44 cm
Price on request

Close your eyes and imagine Marco Polo along the Silk Road, but even before that, imagine the caravans that connected Greece to India and India to China spreading ideas, religions, philosophies, and trade. Then open your eyes and look at this second-century Gandharan relief: here is how a Greek or local artisan-artist depicted this meeting of cultures: horses and oxen pulling the cart full of wares and then the caravan leader overseeing the work and,

in front of him, a camel to brave the Central Asian desert and attendants unloading the wares to store them in a warehouse… This is an unusual theme for Gandharan art and the scene–illustrated with pleasing and accurate realism–gives us a snapshot of life in those times that in some regions of Asia has remained virtually unchanged to this day.

The frieze was presented at the exhibition “The Art of Gandhara” and published in the catalogue on page 24-25.

Art of Gandhara
2nd – 3rd century
Schist, cm 12 by 21
Price on request

Beside this emaciated Buddha are only two figures of devotees, one male (right) and the other female, and a column appearing on the left. The Buddha indulged in fasting to achieve enlightenment, and his skeletal body shows his prominent ribs.

 However, the Buddha renounced the practice of fasting, having realized that it was useless and that it is not by renouncing the objects of our desire that we become free, but by renouncing desire itself.

The frieze was presented at the exhibition “The Art of Buddhism” and published in the catalogue on page 43.

Art of Gandhara,
2nd – 3rd century
Schist, H. 22 by 29 cm
Price on request

The frieze depicts the Buddha’s death or rather his entry into nirvana. He lies on his left side and rests his head on his folded arm. His robe covers his entire body and his head is framed by the nimbus. He is surrounded by pupils and followers;

his disciple Aniruddha extends his hand toward Ananda, prostrate with pain, to help him rise from the ground. At the foot of the bed, with his back to him, another disciple, Subhadra, sits in meditation.

The frieze was presented at the exhibition “The Art of Buddhism” and published in the catalogue on page 76.

India, Bastar, 20th century
Brass, lost wax process
H.  16 cm.
Price on request


The maker of this statuette created a composition of geometric shapes: the triangular torso, the semicircle of the halo, and the cylindrical legs. The figure appears to be wearing a diving suit from which the god’s head emerges. He has two arms holding as many ritual plates but seems to have two extra arms holding the flaming arch above his head.

The body is entirely covered by a kind of wrought armor, with reinforcements at the legs and a metal band covering the hips. It is an archaic figure out of time, like an archetype combining human and divine traits.

India, Bastar, 20th century
Brass, lost wax process
H. 16 e 20 cm.
Price on request

The two figures represent Dantesvari, a manifestation of the goddess Durga typical of Bastar, recognizable by the trident they both wield, while with the other hand they hold a plate symbolically containing the blood of a sacrificed animal. The smaller one has a triangular-shaped torso with powerful shoulders, wears a short pleated skirt, and her chest is partly covered with heavy jewelry.

More stylized but also better proportioned is the taller one made solemn by the flaming halo framing her head. She wears a crown supporting a second ritual plate and two huge earrings ornamenting her highly stylized face.

India, Bastar
First half of the 20th century
Brass, lost wax process
H. 20 cm
Price on request

Where does this archaic, mysterious figure come from, with its fish-like eyes, ears outspread like wings, a wide and fleshy mouth, a neck enclosed by broad neckbands, the braided hair supporting a ritual plate in the fashion of a royal crown?

She holds a ritual staff and a plate in her hands, her hourglass body is decorated with slanted plates and covered with scarifications. Her legs, on the other hand, are bare, partly hidden by a long apron that goes down to her feet. It is simple but elaborate, stylized but complex–a small masterpiece.

India, Bastar, Mid-20th century
Brass, lost wax casting
H. 16 cm
Price on request

Here is the divine extraterrestrial carrying two saucers of offerings on the extremely long and thin arms. An imposing halo of flames encircles the friendly-looking face. Massive armbands, necklaces, anklets and plates cover much of the neck, and the round knees stand out on the stubby legs.

Mine is certainly a free and unorthodox interpretation, but Bastar figures like those of the Kondh and of all Central Indian ethnic groups show boundless imagination.

India, Bastar, Mid 20th century
Brass, lost wax process
10 by 11 cm
Price on request

This is possibly a married couple or a pair of deities. Lavishly bejeweled and dressed, the hair braided into a long plait, they sit on a swing of which only the left-hand support remains, ending in a hook. The swing is an important element in the religion of Muria tribes (one of several living in Bastar) because the vertigo deliberately induced by the swinging motion is considered a means of entering a divine state.

The pleasure of almost flying with its associated loss of body control leads to an altered state of consciousness, considered an important religious experience. The figures are modeled with pleasing realism and the faces have a joyful expression, possibly due to the magical flight of the swing.

India, Bastar, 20th century
Brass, lost wax casting
H.  13 cm
Price on request

The four arms carry four ritual objects and on the head rests the offering plate. This is definitely a powerful deity since four-armed Bastar statues are very rare. The figure is modeled with special care in both the facial features and the jewelry and mesh garment that covers her. A long braid of hair falls on the back.

India, Bastar,20th century
Brass, lost wax casting
H.  10 cm
Price on request

This is an unusual image of Khanda Kankalini seated on a stool with her torso bent backward. Visible is the realism with which she was modeled, the proportions of her body, the facial features, the combed hair in braids gathered on her head, the heavy collars adorning her chest, and the long apron resembling a tiger skin.

India, Bastar, 20th century
Brass, lost wax casting
H.  11 e 12 cm
Price on request

These two female deities, equal in height, differ only in that one has her eyes open and the other closed, and because they are differently attired: the one on the left, with her eyes closed, has more ornaments, the usual beautiful long braid of hair and the usual long apron on her hips that falls down in front. The one on the right has her eyes open, is more stylized and cruder in her nakedness, only the long apron covering her, and a large trident lends her a threatening look.

India, Bastar, 20th century
Brass, lost wax casting
H 13 cm. – diam. 16 cm
Price on request

Sometimes even everyday objects can be works of art like this container that was used to measure out rice, grain and other groceries. Containers, ladles, lamps and a thousand other utensils had to last through time and withstand constant use. They could have been made in all simplicity, but in this case a skilled craftsman with a wonderful sense of aesthetics decided to embellish this vessel with a special shape

and covered it with a latticework of threads, lozenges, rhombuses, platelets, and finally, lest we forget that we live between heaven and earth, with the symbols of the sun and moon. At mid-height on the side a ring is visible to which a lid was probably attached. These are decorations that transcend pure necessity and confirm how the sense of beauty and the pleasure of seeking it have always existed.

Qing Dynasty, 19th century
Ink and color on paper
131 by 72 cm
Price on request

The lady is portrayed wearing the semi-formal court robes of the Qing era accurately rendered in every detail. The honors of the fifth rank are bestowed on the lady by means of the insignia depicting a goose on the mandarin square. On her head the lady wears a tiara adorned with golden phoenixes and pearl pendants that descend symmetrically on the sides of her face.

The figure appears majestic, and although the face is rendered with an abundance of detail (note the wrinkles around the mouth and on the forehead), the focus is mainly on the sumptuous robe, which also determines her status. Indeed, characteristic of the Qing period is the importance attached to clothing.

The painting was presented at the exhibition “Glances from the Past” and published in the catalog on pp. 12-13.

Sails on the Li Jiang River in Guilin, 1983
Ink on paper
87,5 by 46 cm
Price on request

Hu Zhenlang (1938) is an artist who devoted himself to traditional Chinese landscape painting (ink on paper). He served on the Council of the Shanghai Chinese Artists’ Association. The vertical inscription with the artist’s seal reads, “Sails on the Li Jiang River, painted by Hu Zhenlang in the year Guihai (1983), Guilin, Yangshuo.”

The painting is inspired by one of China’s most famous and evocative landscapes: the Li Jiang River, the canals and lakes of Guilin with its formidable peaks covered with vegetation. Here nature towers above the tiny fishing boats according to the traditional concept of nature prevailing over man and not vice versa, as in the Western world.

China, Zhou Dynasty, Warring States Period (475-221 BCE)
Lacquered and painted wood (Carbon 14 tested)
25 by 42 by 18 cm
Price on request

These two tigers, together with a pair of phoenixes, formed a huge ritual drum. The phoenixes’ legs were stuck in the holes visible on the tigers’ backs. The tigers have captivating expressions, red ears and tongues, and the elegant red designs stand out on the deep black of the lacquered wood.

China, Ming Dynasty,(15th-17th century)
Cast iron with traces of polychromy
H.  29 cm
Price on request

During the Ming dynasty, cast iron statues were produced that, due to the technical difficulties of casting, could not attain the quality of finish of those made of bronze or copper alloy. It is therefore rare to find a mask like this one, where the simplicity of the volumes made it possible to obtain such an expressive face, imbued with a serene spirituality.

18. Buddha Śākyamuni with scenes from the Avadānakalpalatā
Tibet, 19th century
Distemper on canvas, 75 by 48 cm
Price on request

This thangka shows at centre the Buddha Śākyamuni in the act of touching the earth, calling her to witness his enlightenment. All around him are scenes taken from the Avadānakalpalatā, a work composed in c. 1052 by Kṣemendra, an 11th-century Kashmiri polygraphist. The Avadānakalpalatā groups together various edifying tales (numbering 108) about the lives and former lives of the Buddha, of his disciples, of ascetics and other characters, showing various phases of the path to purification and self-discipline that will ultimately lead to enlightenment and liberation. Translated into Tibetan in the 13th century (c. 1270), this popular set of tales became part of the Buddhist Canon and soon found its way into pictorial representations on monastery walls and, as in this case, on thangkas. This thangka was probably one of a set of 31 showing a selection from the Avadānakalpalatā. Specifically, it illustrates the Avadāna No. 67, the Story of Saṅgharakṣita. The various scenes are indicated by small red panels giving the number and title of the chapter from which the story is taken. We can see four of these panels on our thangka, three on the right-hand side and one on the left at the height of Buddha’s head. A description of the full set of 31 thangkas of the Avadānakalpalatā can be seen in Giuseppe Tucci’s Tibetan Painted Scrolls, thangkas 64-94 in vol. II, plate 120 being the exact correspondent of our thangka. The text of the Saṅgharakṣita story can also be found in Tibetan Painted Scrolls vol. II, p. 506. These 31 paintings all derive from a series of 31 woodcut blockprints made at the printing press in sNar-thang, which set the iconography for all thangkas illustrating the Avadānakalpalatā, thus providing a standard iconographic reference for painters and ensuring consistency in the subdivision of chapters. The Buddha is invariably the central figure in all of these thangkas, the only variation being the mudrā displayed in each case.

Thomas & William Daniell
Aquatint,  48 x 65 cm.
Published by the Daniells on March 1st, 1800
Price on request

A shivalinga at the heart of this shrine is offered to the devotion of the faithful in this rock-hewn temple, guarded by pairs of huge guardians placed along the entrances on the four sides. The flat ceiling is supported by fine partially carved columns, while the heap of collapsed rocks on the left of the image reveals a former natural access to the temple.

India, Rajasthan, 19th century
Reverse glass painting, 31 by 23 cm.
Price on request

This portrait painted on glass belongs to a type much in vogue at the Moghul court. The woman serenely staring at us might also be Chinese due to the mysterious slant of her eyes, or Portuguese due to the shape of her hat. The very thin robe leaving one breast uncovered and the many jewels leave no doubt as to her role, that of a beautiful courtesan accustomed to living at court.

The presence of numerous and precious pearl threads bears her out as a personage of some relevance, maybe the maharaja’s favourite.

Published on page 55 of the exhibition catalogue “Objects telling their stories”.

India, Rajasthan, 19th century
Solid wood with engobe (slip) and tempera
131 by 86 cm
Price on request

Thick frames applied in relief on the bottom form six irregular panels. It is a vegetal triumph: each frame is filled with a lush tree with an explosion of colorful branches, leaves and flowers; the black background accentuates the color contrast, and white herons at the corners of each frame take flight in every direction.

Rajput painting is one of India’s most important schools of miniature painting. It influenced all art in Rajasthan and made the furnishings of the maharajas’ palaces and the traditional costumes shine with a rainbow of colors that seems to make up for the monochromatic desert color of much of the region.

22. CHAMUNDA one of the Seven Mother Goddess (Saptamatrika)
Central India, 10th-11th century
Sandstone, H. 23 cm
Price on request

During the primordial battle among deities and demons Chamunda was created to destroy the demons Chandra and Munda from whom she took her name. However, Chamunda is also one of the “seven mother-goddesses” (saptamatrika), each of whom embodied a different form of the ancient mother-goddess cult. Chamunda was also associated with Shiva; this is evident when we look at her hairdo which is formed by a high bun of many small plaits.

In this small relief Camunda has eight arms holding their respective ritual objects. As she dances on the supine body of a masculine figure she is flanked above by two dancing figures festooning fully bloomed garlands, and below by two other dancing figures. The great dynamism of this scene displays the traditional iconography of the goddess painstakingly carved in stone as a sculpted miniature.

India, Karnataka, 19th century
Embossed silver
21 by 14 cm
Price on request

This is the classic image of the fierce manifestation of Shiva flanked by Uma and Daksha, but it is a repoussé of great quality, with virtually three-dimensional relief, hammered on a high-quality material. The figure of Virabhadra is both powerful and dynamic, chiseled in every detail and made precious by the gold foil unexpectedly covering the god’s forehead, an armband and the hand holding the sword.

India, Karnataka, 18th century
Partially gilded copper alloy
H. 13 cm
Price on request

What a delight this miniature image of Garuda, a human-bodied bird with eagle wings and head. He is the vehicle of Vishnu and arch-enemy of the asuras, the demons. His epic deeds are recounted in the Puranas and the Mahabharata. This bronze statuette represents him standing with hands clasped in prayer and wings spread;

he wears the clothes and jewels of the gods and his nose is indeed aquiline. Chiseled to perfection, it is made more vital by the contrast between the brown color of copper and the shining color of gold.

25. NARASIMHA, (man-lion, fourth avatar of Vishnu) with Prahlada.
India, Maharashtra (?), 19th century
Bronzo, H. 6,5 cm
Price on request

The legend tells of a demon who had received from Brahma the gift of near-immortality: he could not be killed by either man or beast, neither by day nor by night, neither at home nor outside, and he would be invulnerable to weapons. Thus Vishnu becomes part animal and part human and he strikes the demon at dusk, on his threshold, tearing him apart with his own claws, in the only moment when he is not immortal.

The demon that Narasimha kills is Prahlada’s father who had threatened to kill his son (here beside the god). Prahlada then had turned to Vishnu who, incarnated as Narasimha, had defended the young devotee. Symbolically, the legend represents the victory of (Hindu) faith over all that opposes it, even over blood ties as in this case.

India, Karnataka(?), 18th century
Copper alloy
H. 13 cm
Price on request

Durga sits on a throne supported by peacocks and parrots, with a camel at center and the symbols of the five constellations at her feet. The presence of the camel designates a particular form of the goddess Durga called Momai. Behind the goddess rises a finely pierced toran (arch of honor) with two peacocks at the bottom and two vyalas in the center supporting an elaborate arch with a large kirttimukha mask on top.

A cobra extends its five-headed hood to protect the goddess’s head. All this in a few inches with extraordinary precision of detail, chiseled like a jewel.

27. DANCING BABY-KRISHNA (Balakrishna)
South India, Tamil Nadu region
18th / 19th century
H. 13,5 cm
Price on request

moved by maternal love. Probably originally placed on a domestic altar, this jovial god-child is engaged in an acrobatic dance, in keeping with his cheerful and dynamic nature. Here he is caught in one of his classic acts of mischief: stealing butter. His round body is adorned with necklaces and bracelets: one seems to hear them jingle to the rhythm of his movements.

Cambodia, 15th / 16th century
H. 4,5 cm
Price on request

This is a rare Cambodian image of Ganesh, with four arms and hands holding as many ritual objects. A cobra winds around his torso and spreads its hood over his left shoulder. Around his hips and legs the god wears the typical Cambodian sampot. A very unusual element is the presence of the many skulls at the base of the statuette.

India, Karnataka or Maharashtra
18th century
Bronze casting
H. 16,5 cm
Price on request

This is Shiva with four arms holding a trident, an hourglass drum, a sword, and a bowl. He wears royal robes and jewelry and two tall wooden clogs usually worn by ascetics. Devotional use has partly worn away the details of the statue while leaving its color intact.

India, Maharashtra
18th century
H 11,5 cm.
Price on request

Nandi is the sacred bull, the oldest deified animal in the Hindu pantheon. His statue towers in front of all temples dedicated to Shiva, of which he is the inseparable vehicle. And since he represents fertilizing power, he is placed before the shivalinga, Shiva’s phallus. Despite its bulk, its statues have soft, proportionate forms, often adorned with long horns, exactly like the industrious zebus that still plough the Indian countryside.

Renzo Freschi
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