LYLE SOPEL (Canadian born 1951)
JADE BUDDHA ON BRONZE LOTUS THRONE, 2003
carved British Columbia nephrite jade buddha, right hand raised in abhaya mudra (no fear), the left resting on the knee in varada mudra (giving gesture). Raised on bronze lotus throne.
Provenance: James R. (Jim) Houston Estate
This life-sized nephrite Jade Buddha was commissioned directly by Jim Houston and took over three years to create. It was carved from a single two-thousand-pound British Columbia nephrite jade boulder, which was blessed by Buddhist monks at the outset of the project. To celebrate the unveiling of the Buddha, a “Flowering Lotus Event” and blessing ceremony was held November 8, 2003. The influence for this Buddha came in 1992 from the ten-tonne seven foot high jade Buddha in the Wat Dhammamongkol temple in Thailand.
The Buddha’s elongated earlobes are associated with wisdom and compassion, as it is said the wise can hear the suffering of the world. They also represent the history of Buddha, as he walked away from his wealthy background leaving behind the gold and jewel encrusted earrings, but his earlobes would forever remain stretched as a reminder of his sacrifice. His right hand is raised in abhaya mudra gesture, the gesture of fearlessness. It shows the stage of the Buddha’s life immediately after achieving enlightenment. The Buddha’s left hand is resting on the knee in varada mudra pose. The five extended fingers represent the five perfections: generosity, morality, patience, effort and concentration. The varadamudra stands for compassion, charity and giving. The Buddha sits on a cast bronze lotus throne, the Buddhist symbol of purity.
Size in inches: 60 h x 24 w x 28 d
Lyle Sopel (Canadian, 1951 -) Jade Buddha on bronze lotus throne, 2003
Lyle Sopel’s sculptures can be found in the collections of George Bush Sr. Former US president, The Duke and Duchess of Westminster, H.H Sir Sultan Mohamed Shah Aga Khan III, and The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah. Lyle Sopel was heralded by National Geographic Society as “One of the most accomplished contemporary jade sculptors in the world”.
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