Christie's Asian Art Week
Pioneering Vision: Works from The Collection of Shumita and Arani Bose
Wednesday, September 17
Asian Modern and Contemporary Art
Wednesday, September 17, 10 AM,
immediately following A Pioneering Vision
and Southeast Asian Art
Tuesday September 16, 2014
A Pioneering Vision: Works from the Collection of Shumita and
Arani Bose: Arani Bose with Francis Newton Souza's (Lot 416), "The
Butcher;" Right: Indian and Southeast Asian Art Sale: Lot 288, "A
Painting of Vajravarahi
of Thirty-Seven-Deity Mandala," Tibeto-Chinese,
Quianlong Period, Circa 1740-1763
All Photos © by Michele Leight
By Michele Leight
A Pioneering Vision:
Works from the Collection of Arani and Shumita Bose
Klein, Christie's International Head of South Asian Art Department,
with Lot 408, "Untitled), by Vasudeo Gaitonde, from "A Pioneering
Vision: Works from the Collection of Arani and Shumita Bose," in
and wife team, pioneers of Contemporary Indian art, and co-owners of
renowned gallery Bose Pacia, are
offering part of their own collection for sale at Christie's this Asian
Art Week in a designated sale entitled "A Pioneering Vision: Works from
the Collection of
Shumita and Arani Bose. Among the paintings are two treasures: Vasudeo
Gaitonde's "Untitled," (Lot 408), painted in 1971, and a powerful and
unsettling work that Arani
Bose chose to pose with, illustrated above, entitled "The Butcher,"
(Lot 416), by Francis Newton Souza. A lovable piece, layered with
meaning is also from the collection: Bharti Kher's bindi
pachiderm, "I've Seen an Elephant Fly." Arani and Shumita Bose are
also founders of the non-profit +91 Foundation, which strives
ongoing discourse between the South Asian avant-garde and global art
world. For more information, please see below.*
408, "Untitled," by Vasudeo Gaitonde, sold for $965,000. Lot 416, "The
Butcher," by Francis Newton Souza, sold for $1,685,000.
South Asian Modern and
Contemporary Art sale includes a beautiful painting by Manjit Bawa, Lot
"Untitled (Durga)," Lot 501, "Untitled," a pin drawing by Zarina, and
beautiful paintings by
SH Raza, MF Husain, and Ram Kumar, veteran Indian Modernists.
Lot 513 has an estimate of $380,000 to $450,000.
It sold for
$425,000. Lot 501,
"Untitled," by Zarina, has an estimate of $12,000 to $18,000. It sold for $37,500.
Going far back in time,
the Indian and Southeast Asian Art sale includes gorgeous thangkas and mandalas,
such as Lot 288, "A Painting of Vajravarahi Thirty-Seven-Deity
Mandala," illustrated at the top of this review, Tibeto-Chinese, from
the Quianglong Period, circa 1740-1763, and an imposing group of
Gandharan and Indian sculptures.
Lot 288 has an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000. It sold for $413,000, far
exceeding its high estimate.
415, "I've Seen an Elephant Fly," by Bharti Kher, acrylic, felt and
vinyl bindis on fiberglass
Klein, Christies International Head of South Asian Art, is shown above
with Vasudeo Gaitonde's beautiful "Untitled," (Lot 408), whose subtle
power exerts itself the more you look at it. This reclusive artist did
not make many paintings, averaging six or seven a year. He was
influenced by the New York School, especially by Mark Rothko, and was
the only artist to do his study abroad - a Rockefeller Fellowship - in
America, while other Indian Modern masters like Raza and Souza - went
to study in Paris and London, to name two heavyweights.
technique was painstaking, involving scraping away and repainting areas
of the canvas to achieve amorphous shapes that appear to float on an
endless sea. The artist will be the focus of a solo show at the
Guggenheim in the Fall. Gaitonde said:
"A painting always
exists within you, even before you actually start to paint, You just
have to make yourself the perfect machine to express what is already
there." (Christie's catalogue for this sale)
Lot 408 has an estimate of $750,000-$900,000.
408 sold for $965,000.
of Lot 415, featuring sperm-like
416, "The Butcher," by Francis Newton Souza is a masterpiece by the
artist, and the painting Arani Bose chose to pose with. Eerily
contemporary in its depiction of a butcher with a knife, and
typically despairing of the human race, the artist does not depict the
protagonist slicing a beast, it holds the knife in judgment
indictment of mankind, "...famously claiming that unlike the artists of
the Renaissance who painted men and woman as angels, he painted men and
women to show angels the true depravity of our race..." (Christies
catalogue for this sale).
"The Butcher represent the apex of the
raw, expressionist style tht characterized Souza's works in this
series. Influenced by the works of El Greco and Goya as well as
the Romanesque paintings and Catalonian frescoes he saw on an
earlier visit to Spain, Souza seems to draw on their apocalyptic
visions of hell and its monstrous inhabitants in paintings like this
one. Weilding a cleaver larger than his own disfigured head, the
menacing subject of this monumental, disturbing painting stares
directly at the viewer as he prepares to strike. The gruesomeness of
this scene is accentuated by the bloody animal leg he holds in his
other hand, and the fresh, red spatter on his vest and chopping block.
Distinct from the slaughterhouse scenes painted by artists like
Carracci, Rembrandt, Bacon, Soutine and Tyeb Mehta, Souza's painting
focuses on the agent of butchery rather than the animals being
butchered, casting him as a sign of the direction in which he sees
society heading..." (Christie's catalogue for this sale)
Lot 416 has an estimate of $1,500,000 to
$2,000,000. Lot 416 sold
Klein, Christies International Head of South Asian Art, talks about
works of art from Arani and Shumita Bose's collection that will be
offered for sale. Featured above are two paintings by Bhupen Khakhar;
Left: Lot 401, "At New Jersey", 1986, oil on canvas; Right: Lot 402,
for Darshan," 2000, oil on canvas
Kher was recently the subject of a major solo exhibition at Shanghai's
Rockbund Museum, "Bharti Kher: Misdemeanors, " and her baby pachiderm,
"I've Seen an Elephant Fly," dominated Christie's galleries in the
preview. Re-purposing the
the traditional painted dot worn on the forehead of Indian
for centuries, Kher saturates the surface of a baby elephant with the
contemporary, plastic variety, symbolizing her commentary on the
commercial transitions India has encountered recently, and the new
identity of millions of aspirational Indian women. Those who visit
India regularly will note the substitution of the conveniently mass
produced for the hand-made in every aspect of society, and the formerly
exception. They also change the identy of the elephant, once associated
with temple ritual rituals and mundane labor like log-lifting, now
romanticized as a symbol of timeless India.
The shape of the bindi's that cover the surface of this baby elephant
for a moment the symbolism of sperm [...] one quickl realizes that
these forms not only represent the biological act of procreation but
also bear a wealth of other meanings, of which virility, sexuality,
life and energy are but a few. Sperm are also symbolic of every single
living creature on the planet, along with our vices and virtues, our
existence, ideas, ambitions, and destiny. In other words, in the hands
of Kher, bindis become a sort of second skin, which once applied to an
object has the power to transform it into a new life [...]." (Z.
Ardalan, 'Second Skin that Speaks of Truth', Bharti Kher, exhibition
catalogue, Parasol Unit, London, 2012, pp.15-16)
Lot 415 has an estimate of $500,000 to 700,000. It passed.
401, At New Jersey," by Bhupen Khakhar, and Lot 402, "Waiting for
Darshan," also by Khakhar are wonderful narrative paintings by an
artist trained and employed as a chartered accountant, self-taught,
until he was in his thirties:
"He arrived at a hybrid
idiom, in which [Henri] Rousseau, [David] Hockney, Sienese pedellas,
the oleographs of the Bazaar, the temple maps of Nathdwara and awkward
observations of 'Company' painters, are all fused together, And with
this idiom a new world opened, which no painter had ever dealt with
before; the vast expanses of half-Westernized modern, urban India." (T.
Hyman, A Critical Difference, London, 1993. p. 3)
Lot 401 sold for $87,500.
Lot 402 sold for $461,000.
414, "Kalki," by Atul Dodiya; exterior: oil, varnish, gold powder and
brass letters on metal roller shutter with iron hooks; exterior:
acrylic and varnish with marble dust on canvas
here are several wonderful works of art from "A Pioneering Vision:
Works from the Collection of Shumita and Arani Bose" that reflect the
scope of Indian creativity since Independence.
Above is Lot
414, "Kalki," by Atul Dodiya, a three-in-one work of art, with only the
outer screen - a storefront roller-shutter - visible in this
photograph. The "screen," commonly the storefront of millions of small
shops in India, is transformed into a work of art in three layers by
Dodiya, one of India's most acclaimed and beloved artists: "...Dodiya
grapples with the legacies of a range of modernisms, ranging from the
Indian film poster art and store signage to the more institutionalized
histories of Photorealism and Dadaism. By using the roller shutter as
his mode of expression, Dodiya joins the high and the low in art,
eloquently challenging the epistemological terrain of 'high
and its problematic location in Western Modernity..." (Christie's
catalogue for this sale.
Lot 414 has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000.
is a strong and gorgeous triptych by Nalini Malani, Lot 412, "The
Ecstacy of Radha," a reverse painting in watercolor, acrylic and
enamel. Christie's catalogue for this sale states that Malani has
become one of the representative voices of Contemporary South Asian Art
around the globe. Her work is currently on view at the Scottish
National Gallery, Edinburgh, and at the Asia Society, "Nalini Malani:
Transgressions. She has also exhibited at Tate Modern (2001), The new
Museum of Contemporary Art in New York (2003), Peabody Essex Museum
(2005-2006), and the Irish Museum of Modern Art (2007).
Lot 412 has an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000. It sold for $81,250.
Lot 403, "Dhari - 0 KM" by Atul Dodiya, 1988, oil on canvas; Center
Left: Lot 407, "Bleu D'ete," by Syed Haider Raza, 1963, oil on canvas;
Center: Lot 412, "Ecstacy of Radha," by Nalini Malani, 2004, reverse
painting in watercolor, acrylic and enamel reverse painting on mylar,
Lot 406, "Untitled," by Ram Kumar, 1963,
oil on canvas
- very different, photo-realist work - by Atul Dodiya, Lot
403, "Dhari - 0 KM," is shown on the far left in Christie's
Lot 403 has an estimate of $50,000 to $70,000. It sold for $90,000.
Lot 407, "Bleu D'ete," by Syed Haider Raza, an oil on canvas painted in
1963, has an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. It sold for $52,500.
406, ""Untitled," by Ram Kumar, is illustrated on the far right. This
beautiful oil on canvas, painted in 1963, has an estimate of
$30,000 to $50,000.
410, "Untitled," by Arpita Singh is an exquisite, tender painting,
described in Christie's catalogue for this sale:
typically depicts women in moments of duress, surrounded by objects
that are mundane or otherworldly. Through such juxtapositioning she
invests commonplace items, such as planes and automobiles (both being
recurring motifs in her works) with layers of meaning. In this
painting, these elements seem to be populating the dreams of Singh's
protagonist, an unclad middle-aged woman who is shown seated on the
lower right of the painting. The plane represents the notion of passage
both physical and temporal. The violence that the departures of loved
ones and the aging process wreak, particularly on women, has
historically been among Singh's concerns. Motifs like planes embody
these ''comings and goings, the inevitability and implicit danger of
separation and reunion, and the inescapability of death. She makes the
past and the faraway co-present, in the anticipation of separation, by
travel or death." (S. Bean, 'Now, Then, Beyond, Time in India's
Contemporary Art', Contemporary Indian Art, Other Realities, Mumbai,
Lot 410 has an estimate of $70,000 to $90,000. It sold for $81,250.
is a strong showing of female artists in this collection, including
works by Zarina, Nilima Sheik, Anju Dodiya, Jayashree Chakravarty, and
Nalini Malani, Bharti Kher, and Arpita Singh, illustrated
South Asian Modern and
sale of works from this important collection is part of a continuum of
"firsts" associated with Bose Pacia. Far from resting on their laurels,
Arani and Sushmita Bose are now deeply involved in a new, non-profit
venture, called the +91 Foundation, best explained by one of its
founders, Arani Bose:
" We see the +91 Foundation as a vehicle
for us to continue the work we started at Bose Pacia and then
personally, to better integrate the art practice in the region to the
global contemporary art world. When we started the gallery in the early
1990s, there was a huge need for a global commercial platform for South
Asian art, but now, 20 years later, that need has been met so to speak.
However, there remains a very real need for an international
non-commercial platform in this space"
mission of the +91 Foundation strives to further ongoing discourse
between the South Asian avant-garde and global art world. +91 will
create platforms for exhibition, education and documentation that
foster the international exchange of ideas. This is facilitated through
three interrelated programs. +91 Initiaves, +91 Files, and +91 Archives.
INITIAVES facilitates creative endeavors worldwide, collaborating with
partners within institutions and in interstital spaces removing
barriers between viewers and art. Our Initiatives promote artistic and
intellectual exchange through our visual artists' workspace program
based in New York City and collaborations with local and international
ARCHIVES promotes the scholarship of South Asian Contemporary Art by
documenting, preserving and improving access to visual arts
collections, archival material and educaitonal resources. We strive to
provide unique insight into contemporary South Asian art practice by
adding to our digital repository of important visual arts collections
and archival material. The +91 Archives will focus on three important
modes of programmng to fulfill its mission: Acquisitions &
Collections Management, Documentation and Outreach & Access.
FILES is a repository of information documenting the practice of
established and emerging artists. The +91 Files consists of existing
artist files fom Bose Pacia with updates. We have been collecting
artist images since 1994, which has transitioned into a database this
is physically accessible by scholars, researchers and the general
The sale, "A Pioneering
Vision: Works From the Collection of Shumita and Arani Bose achieved
513, "Untitled," by Manjit Bawa, 2004, oil on canvas, Formerly from the
Estate of Manjit Bawa
knock-out painting by Manjit Bawa that literally exploded off the wall
in Christie's Galleries, illustrated above, contrasts with a subtle
masterpiece by Zarina, Lot 501, "Untitled," an all-white, minimialist
pin drawing that evokes
the exquisite kantha
embroidery work of India (not illustrated).
These wonderful contrasts - that reflect South Asia - played out in
vignettes of luminious and uplifting color, as well as more restrained
compositions, and sculptures, such as Riyas Komu's winsome, anxious
painting "Borivaly Boy II," and Jitish Kallat's laughing youngster,
"Untitled (Cavity)," rendered in black lead on fiberglass, illustrated
513, "Untitled (Durga)," by Manjit Bawa, is as mystical as it is
contemporary: "Bawa was heavily influenced by the power of ancient
mythology and Hindu literature stating: 'They remain to me basically
mythical icons - as Durga, Kali, Shiva, Krishna, or even Heer Ranjha,
Mirza Sahiba or Sohni Mahwal. In my world of imagination they are very
real. I have known them from childhood tales and fables narrated to me
by my father. As I grew up, I met them again in literature, music,
poetry and art. What else can I paint? Or draw?" (Artist Statement, I.
Puri, Lets Paint the Sky Red: Manjit Bawa, p. 47).
Lot 513 has an estimate of $380,000 to $450,000.
It sold for
501, "Untitled," by Zarina, has an estimate of $12,000 to $18,000. It sold for $37,500.
Lot 535, "Portrait of Pinnawela Dhirananda," by George Keyt, 1932, oil
on canvas; Center: Lot 569, "Untitled (Totem Masks)," by MF Husain,
1963, oil on canvas; Right: Lot 570, "Untitled (Elephants)," by MF
Husain, circa 1960s, oil on canvas
535, "Portrait of Pinnawela Dhirananda," by George Keyt has an estimate
of $25,000 to $35,000.
It sold for $30,000.
547, "La Terre," by Syed Haider Raza, 1971, acrylic on board
569, ""Untitled (Totem Masks)," and Lot 570, "Untitled (Elephants),"
both by Maqbool Fida Husain, are extremely sophisticated paintings
executed in the 1960s. Lot 569 has an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. It sold for $167,000, far above
its high estimate.
With Bharti Kher's
bindi elephant, Husain's Lot 570, "Untitled (Elephants)," is another
version of the beloved animals, that so many associate with India:
Fida Husain imbues this painting of a family of three elephants with
the warmth and energy which he came to associate with the Keralan
landscape following his visits there in the 1960s. 'On Kerala's sands
and in its elephant-inhabited jungle and among its people Husain heard
a cry.' (R. Bartholomew and S. Kapur, Husain, New York, 1971, p. 55)
Husain uses gestural brushstrokes and warm almost Fauvist use of color
to portray this tender family portrait, This painting presents three
embracing elephants as they revel in a pure and primal playfulness
surrounded by the atmospheric dense green jungle." (Christie's
catalogue for this sale)
Lot 570 has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It sold for $173,000.
547, "La Terre," by Syed Haider Raza, is a sophisticated rendition of
the artist's famous landscapes in black, "For black was the mother of
all colors and one from which all others were born. It was also the
void from which spranc the manifest universe." (Y. Dalmia, Raza: A Life
In Art, New Delhi, 2007, p, 197) Punctuated by flashes of white an
earthy hues of brown and red, black pervades and suffuses this
landscape with otherworldly beauty" and "La Terre reflects Raza's
experiences growing up in the densely forested village of kakaiya, in
the state of Madhya Pradesh. 'The most tenacious memory of my
childhood,' Raza observed, 'is the fear and the fascination of the
Indian forest. Nights in the forests were hallucinating; sometimes the
only humanizing influence was the dancing of the Gond tribes. Daybreak
brought back a sentiment of security and well-being. On market day,
under the radiant sun, the village was a fairyland of colours. And
then, the night again'" (R. Bartholomew, The Art Critic, New
Delhi, 2012, pp. 81-82)
Lot 547 has an estimate of $250,000 to $350,000. It passed.
Lot 544,"Untitled (Midnight Sky," by Syed Haider
Raza, a beautiful painting, has an estimate of $200,000 to 300,000. It sold for $221,000.
Lot 516, "Untitled (Crawford Market)," by Francis Newton Souza, 1961,
mixed media on paper, laid on canvas; Right: Lot 543, "Jerusalem," by
Sadanand Bakre, 1969, oil on canvas
516, "Untitled (Cawford Market), by Francis Newton Souza,
is a refreshing, spontaneous cityscape, with
all the painterly flourishes associated with the artist.
It has an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. It sold for $75,000.
543, "Jerusalem," by Sadanand Bakre, is a beautiful and luminious,
cubist inspired portrayal of this famous biblical city. The artist
said: "I paint as I like. It is a compelling passion with me to keep
alive and I cannot help painting or sculpting. I am traditionally
trained and perfectly capable of accomplishing completely realistic
work. But my interests in forms has gone far beyond the dull imitations
of subject matter, which to me is almost unimportant.
Lot 543 has an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000. It sold for $28,750.
Lot 554, "Borivali Boy II," by Riyas Komu, 2007, oil on canvas: Right:
Lot 555, "Untitled (Cavity)," by Jitish Kallat, 2007, black lead on
above are two renditions of boyhood, by two compelling artists, both
with reasonable estimates. On the left is Lot 554, "Borivali Boy II,"
by Riyas Komu, and on the right is Lot 555, "Untitled (Cavity)," by
Jitish Kallat, black lead on fiberglass.
525, "Untitled (Hanuman and Jatayu)," by Jamini Roy, gouache on card
Lot 554 has an estimate of $5,000 to $7,000. It sold for $6,250.
Lot 555 has an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000.
525,"Untitled (Hanuman and Jatayu)," the painting by Jamini Roy,
illustrated above, is reminiscent of Paul Klee and Howard Hodgkin, with
an interesting provenance. Formerly in the collection of Dr. Edward C.
Dimock, Jr., "...This painting was a gift from the artist to
Dimock who was an influential scholar of Indian languages, the first to
teach Bengali literature in the United States and professor emeritus of
the University of Chicago. He was awarded the Desikottama, honorary
doctor of letters in1992. Dr. Dimock first travelled to Calcutta in
1955 and this painting was presented to him at that time. Dr. Dimock
returned to the USA with the painting in 1957. (Christie's caralogue
for this sale).
Lot 525 has an estimate of $6,000 to 8,000. It sold for $10,000.
the Jamini Roys in the sale performed well.
and Southeast Asian Art
Lot 286, "A Monumental Painting of Dharmakirti," Ribet, Circa 18th
century; Right: Lot 252, "An Important Gilt Bronze Figure of
Buddha Shakyamuni," Tibet, Circa 14th Century
Lot 550, "There is No Explosive In This," by Shilpa Gupta, 2007, C
-print on archival paper
works on paper
above is Lot 550, "There is No Explosive in This," by Shilpa
Gupta, a set of three works on paper, C-print on archival
It has an
estimate of $4,000 to $6,000. It
sold for $3,750.
The South Asian Modern
and Contemporary Art sale achieved $2,708,000.
sales of South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art, including A
Pioneering Vision: Works from the Collection of Arani and Shumta
Bose, achieved $6.3 million. Deepanjana Klein, International
of South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art said:
"Works from the
Collection of Shumta and Arani Bose saw great works selling to major
collectors and institutions, including Francis Newton Souza's
monumnetal masterpiece, The Butcher, which achieved the second highest
price for the artist at auction. The sale of South Asian Modern and
Contemporary Art demonstrated international interest, with clients
bidding aggressively for works across all mediums. The enthusiasm and
energy in the room, on the phone and via Christie's LIVE affirmed this
strong and buoyant market."
The next sale at Christie's in this category will take place in Mumbai
on December 11, 2014
gallery devoted to classical Indian and Southeast Asian Art ablaze with
the sumptuous colors of hand-painted thangkas,
a Gandharan sculpture, Lot 204, "An Important Gray Schist Figure of a
Bodhisattva," 2nd to 3rd century, and Lot 246,"A Monumental Granite
Figure of Shanmukha," from South India, Chola Period - 11th/12th
Century, evoked temples and grandeur of ancient times on an
Jain-Patel, Christie's Head of Department, Indian and Southeast Asian
Art, with Lot 246, "A Monumental Granite Figure of
Shanmukha," South India, Chola Period, 11th/12th Century
of Lot 288, "A
Painting of Vajravarahi
of Thirty-Seven-Deity Mandala," Tibeto-Chinese,
Quianlong Period, Circa 1740-1763
Lot 246 depicts
Shanmukha," shown below with Sandhya Jain-Patel, Christie's Head of
Department, Indian and South East Asian Art:
"Shanmuka is seated
on an enormous peacock named Parvani, who has large tail feathers and
holds the tail of a snake in his beak while the serpent's head supports
his pendant foot. The flaming aureole that rises up around them
deliberately recalls that of his father, Shiva Nataraja, when he dances
the world in and out of existence..." (Christie's catalogue for this
Lot 204 has an estimate of $250,000 to $350,000. It sold for $305,000.
Lot 246 has an estimate of $250,000 to $350,000. It sold for $269,000.
252, "An Important Gilt Bronze Figure of Buddha Shakyamuni," created in
Tibet in the 14th century, depicts the moment at which Buddha
Shakyamuni achieves enlightenment. "Faced with the threats and
temptations of Mara, Buddha overcomes all and touches a single finger
to the Earth so that She may bear witness to his achievement."
(Christie's catalogue for this sale).
Lot 252 has an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000. It sold for $149,000.
detail of Lot 288, "A Painting of Vajravarahi of Thirty-Seven-Deity
Mandala," is illustrated above, and
in two other photographs, because it is so spectacular - a bright star
of this auction and in the pantheon of thangkas. With
vibrant pigments, and the fine execution, the artist depicts the deity
auspicious characters arranged around a lotus blossom within the walls
of a palace, "all above an enormous lotus with flaming border with
flying garland bearers and charnel ground scenes, all set within a
mountainous and watery landscape..." ..."This exquisite painting would
have been part of a larger set of likely forty-four paintings depicting
the mandalas of the Vajravali compendium. An inscription at the bottom
of the painting indicates that it was commissioned by Uintao,
Lu, the twelfth of twenty sons of the Kangxi Emperor, and
iconograpically designed by Changkya Rolpa'i Dorje, the personal
Buddhist teacher of the Quianglong Emperor and head lama in Beijing
during the 18th century...."
Lot 265, "A Gilt Bronze Figure of Suryaprabha," Mongolia, 18th century;
Right: Lot 289, "A Painting of Loden Chogse," Tibet, 19th Century
1734, Rolpa'i Dorje was allowed
to accompany the 7th Dalai Lama, who had been visiting Beijing, back to
Tibet. While there, he also traveled to Shigatse, where he studied
under the Panchen Lama and was ordained as a full monk. His time in
Tibet was short, however, as upon the death of the Yongsheng Emperor in
1736, he was recalled to Beijing by his childhood friend, the Quianglong
Emperor. He was put in charge of Buddhist affairs in the capital, and
acted as religious preceptor to the emperor. Throughout his career,
Rolpa 'i Dorje had an enormous influence on the relations between the
Quing court and the buddhist institutions of Tibet, He advised
Quianlong to recognize the Dalai Lama as the spiritual and secular
leader of Tibet, promoting the Gelug sect over the other Tibetan
Buddhist schools, and was even involved in recognizing the next
incarnation of the Dalai Lama after the 7th passed in 1757. Rolpa'i
Dorje also encouraged the Panchen Lama to visit Beijing for an official
audience with Quianglong in 1779. A set of paintings depicting the
previous incarnations of the Panchen Lama were commissioned for this
grand ceremony, nine of which were sold at Christie's New York on 18
September 2013 (lot 256)..." and "The present painting was almost
certainly commissioned between 1736, when Yintao passed. However, his
work on systematizing Buddhist iconometry suggests the present painting
was likely created from the 1740s onwards..." (Christie's catalogue for
This beautiful painting, is illustrated three times. Lot 288 has an
estimate of $80,000 to $120,000. It
sold for $413,000.
265, "A Gilt Bronze Figure of Suryaprapha," has an estimate of $30,000
to $50,000. It failed to sell.
cabinet of with Gandharan sculptures in Christie's galleries, including
Lot 210, "A Group of Five Stucco Male Heads," Gandhara, 4th Century
Lot 289, "A Painting of Loden Chogse," created in Tibet in the 19th
century has an estimate of $12,000 to $18,000. It sold for $23,750.
unique mix of old and new is visible in the works on offer in the sales
during Asian Art Week in New York, and
treasures are available at a reasonable price. In the glass cabinet
above, (left), "A Group of Five Stucco Male Heads," crafted in Gandhara
in the 4th century, has an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000. It sold for $4,750.
Indian and Southeast Asian Art sale achieved $3,779,625. 93 of the 112
lots sold. The sale was 83% sold by lot and 75% sold by value.
orchids complement the exotic works of art in Christie's galleries in
Page of The City Review
top lot of the sale was Lot 212, "An important gray schist figure of
Buddha, Gandhara, 2nd/3rd century, that sold for $509,000, followed by
Lot 288, "A painting of a Vajravarahi thirty-seven-deity mandala, that
sold for $413,000.
Jain-Patel, Specialist Head of Sale of Indian and Southeast Asian Art,
New York, said: "Today's sale of Indian and Southeast Asian Art
realized the highest sell-through ever for the category. The interest
in classical field was apparent during the well-attended exhibition and
in thepacked saleroom, with buyers from all over the world. Leiko
Coyle, Specialist Indian & Southeast Asian Art, added: "This
showed strength across the category, as evidenced by Gandharan art,
Himalayan art, as well as Indian sculpture represented in the top ten
sales results. We look forward to the continuous and strong market
demand for next season.