Standing Buddha

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 1

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At A Glance

On View
  • Period

  • Geography

    Mathura, India
  • Material

    Red sikri sandstone
  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 134.6 x 58.4 x 30.4 cm (53 x 23 x 11 15/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Standing, the right leg slightly bent, on a plinth showing fragments of small, flanking donors in anjalimudra, the Buddha wearing a monastic robe covering both shoulders, the fold of the robe indicated by ridges following the contours of the body, the left hand holding the robe which falls in cascading folds, the left hand, missing, originally in abhayamudra, small fragments of the original halo showing at each shoulder, the back plain except for where the ridges of the robe continue, particularly on the reverse of the left shoulder.
    The sculpture depicts a standing figure on a low rectangular base. The head and right hand of the figure are missing. At the feet of the figure are portions of the legs of two small kneeling figures which are now lost. While the front and sides are fully carved, the back is roughly flat and undetailed except at the sides where the carving of the folds of the robes continues around from the front for a short distance. The stone appears to be the red sandstone typical of the Mathura region.
  • Provenance

    Before about 1878-August 1940
    Augustus Greville-Bell, acquired in India, by decent through his family, possibly to Anthony Greville-Bell (1920-2008) [1]
    August 1940-1984
    Ownership information unknown
    Unidentified dealer, London, England [2]
    Perry J. Lewis III, purchased from Unidentified dealer, London, in London, England [3]
    Peter Marks Gallery, New York, NY, purchased from Perry J. Lewis III [3]
    From 1994
    Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Peter Marks Gallery [4]
    [1] See unaddressed letter from Anthony Greville-Bell, dated November 30, 1986 (or 1984?), copy in object file. The complete letter reads, “Dear Sir, [/] The Indian Statue in the enclosed photograph, which I have endorsed, was in the possession of my family for several generations. It was in the collection of my great-grandfather Augustus who was an official of the Bombay Presidency. He returned to England about 1878 and settled at Eastbury House in Dorset, bringing with him many objects which he acquired during his time in India. Unfortunately the house and its contents had to be disposed of for death duties in 1940, and the collection was dispersed. The Indian connection was kept up by later generations, and I believe that my brother and sister [Dennis (Denys) (1916-1939) and Elizabeth (1921-2005)] and I were the first members of the family not born in India for over one hundred years.”
    See also unaddressed letter and photograph of the object from Anthony Greville-Bell, both dated November 30, 1984, copy in object file. On the back of a photograph Anthony Greville-Bell says that the object “was in the possession of my family until August of 1940.” The photograph bears the stamp of the photographer “Christopher A. Fransella, A.R.P.S. [/] Raymond Fortt Studio [/] 95, Ewell Road [/] Surbiton, Surrey […]”. Fransella became an Associate of the Royal Photography Society (A.R.P.S.) in January 1967.
    Augustus Greville-Bell (probably Augustus Bell) was an official of the Bombay Presidency. He returned to England about 1878 and settled at Eastbury House in Dorset, England. He had collected a number of objects while living in India, which he brought to England.
    Captain Anthony Greville-Bell (1920-2008) was the great-grandson of Augustus Greville-Bell, a scriptwriter, military veteran, sculptor, and amateur musician in London, England. Born in Sydney, Australia to Captain Walter Edward Greville Bell (W. E. G. Bell) (possibly about 1879-possibly 1928) and Norah Janet Marion Taylor (1890-1975) of Australia. Walter was a well-known tea planter in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), possibly in Colombo, and he served in the Boer war. Anthony Greville-Bell’s parents divorced in 1925 and his mother moved the family to England. Greville-Bell was educated in Tiverton, in Devon, England and enlisted in the military in 1939. He was awarded a Distinguished Service Order for his actions behind enemy lines on Operation Speedwell in Italy in 1943. Greville-Bell had two siblings: Dennis (Denys) (1916-1939) and Elizabeth Tyser (née Greville-Bell) (1921-2005). He was married four times: Diana Mary Fullerton Carnegie (formerly Shepard) (1923-1961) (m. 1945), Helen Rosemary Scott-Duff (1930-1989) (m. 1955-1958), Ann Kennerley (m. 1972), and to Lauriance Rogier (m. 1996-2008). The first three marriages were dissolved. His divorce from Helen Rosemary became international news. Greville-Bell had three daughters: two with his first wife and one from an earlier relationship.
    [2] See notes from telephone conversation between Perry J. Lewis III and Dr. Joanna M. Gohmann, Provenance Researcher & Object Historian, National Museum of Asian Art, dated March 30, 2023, copy in object file. Perry J. Lewis purchased the sculpture in 1984 in London, England from a female dealer that is now dead. When asked, he declined to name the female dealer. Lewis sold the sculpture to Peter Marks in 1994 to pay for costs associated with his divorce.
    [3] See letter from Peter Marks, Peter Marks Gallery, to Dr. Milo Beach, Director, dated February 9, 1994, copy in object file. Peter Marks states that the object was with Perry J. Lewis since 1987.
    Perry J. Lewis III is an amateur collector and investment banker active in New York, NY and residing in Greenwich and Ridgefield, Connecticut. Lewis was born in Texas, but his family later moved to Massachusetts. He graduated from Princeton University in 1959. He married Memrie Taylor Mosier of North Carolina in 1962 (divorced 1994). In 1997, he married the Polish-born fashion model, Basha Szymanska (1943-2019). Lewis does not describe himself as a collector and mainly purchased objects during his travels. His collection included textiles from South America and sculpture from, India, Indonesia (Java), Nepal, Cambodia. Object from his collection may also be found in The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Princeton University Art Museum.
    [4] See note 3.
    [5] See Freer Gallery of Art “Acquisition Justification Form,” approved on May 11, 1994, copy in object file. The Freer Gallery of Art paid Peter Marks, Inc., in installments, the first on May 23, 1994, and the last on October 13, 1994, and approved on May 11, 1994. See object file for copies of invoices.
    Research updated April 12, 2023
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Body Image (October 14, 2017 - ongoing)
    Arts of the Indian Subcontinent and the Himalayas (October 16, 2004 to January 3, 2016)
    Beyond the Legacy--Anniversary Acquisitions of the Freer Gallery of Art (October 11, 1998 to April 11, 1999)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Augustus Greville-Bell
    Possibly Anthony Greville-Bell (1920-2008)
    Perry J. Lewis III
    Peter Marks Works of Art, Inc. (active 1960-2002)
  • Origin

    Mathura, India
  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

  • On View

    Freer Gallery 02: Body Image: Arts of the Indian Subcontinent
  • Restrictions and Rights

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