top of page



Kashmir is located at the crossroads of India, Pakistan and the Tibetan Plateau. A highly individual artistic style was developed there beginning in the 6th century. Despite incorporating several Gandharan features, Kashmiri art was highly localised: figures are adorned in thin and light robes with well defined musculature, especially  the chest.  Elongated and muscular bodhisattva statues feature floral or pointed crowns.  Thrones  are designed in the shape of rocks or embellished with animal motifs and ornaments made from copper, silver and precious stones are applied to seats and garments. Specific body parts, such as eyes, nipples and lips are accentuated.



螢幕快照 2022-12-01 下午7.47.14.png

Halo for a Seated Buddha


Kashmir, 8th century

Bronze with silver inlay, H. 29 cm

Private collection

This elliptical halo once provided a backdrop for the throne of a seated Buddha sculpture. Two bodhisattvas flank the space occupied by the central image, standing aside two decorated pillars surmounted by kinnara—half-human, half-avian creatures playing musical instruments, behind whose tails is a cascade of scrolls. Seven Buddhas of the Past (assuming the absent figure to be Maitreya, the Future Buddha), or six of them and Maitreya (assuming the absent figure to be Shakyamuni)—are enveloped by interlocking foliage. The robes and eyes of the Buddhas are also highlighted with silver, while copper is used on their lips and in the lower garment of the bodhisattvas.


A stupa, a symbol of the enlightened mind, is surmounted by a sun and moon, symbolising wisdom and compassion, attached with banderoles at the halo’s pinnacle. The entire halo is marked with stylised flames along the outer edge as a gateway of light. The inner boundaries are adorned with silver-laid beads rendered as pearls.








Techniques 技藝

Figure of Shakyamuni


Kashmir, 8th century

Copper and silver inlaid brass, H. 24 cm

Cissy and Robert Tang Collection

The figure of Shakyamuni is shown in a re-enactment of his first sermon at the Deer Park in Sarnath. His interlocking fingers turn the Wheel of Dharma (Dharma chakra) as he is seated on a square cushion supported by a pair of lions, which affirms his status. Shakyamuni’s shoulders are draped in a diaphanous robe with evenly rippled folds. Behind the figure is a projecting tang along with two holes at the back of the head and cushion, indicating that he once had a separately cast halo.


The robust upper torso beneath the v-shaped collar of Shakyamuni’s clinging robe demonstrates the earlier traditions of both Gandharan and Guptan art carried out in Kashmiri bronzes. Other Kashimiri characteristics include a broad nose, the distinctive throne designs (animal motifs and downward pointing lotus petals, and silver inlays on the urna and almond-shaped eyes.








Techniques 技藝

bottom of page