Alfred William Plâté (German (active Sri Lanka), ca. 1859 –1931 Linz)
Image: 27.8 x 22.8 cm (10 15/16 x 9 in.)
Purchase, Robert A. Taub Gift, 2012
Not on view
This beautifully printed and perfectly preserved print shows the most famous Buddhist rock-cut temple in Ellora, India, the “Carpenter’s Cave,” excavated about 700. Although carved from rock, the large hall is designed to look like a vaulted ceiling of wood beams supported by columns, echoing contemporary timber shrines. Plâté’s eerily lit photograph powerfully conveys a spiritual aura, with the statue of the Buddha in a teaching posture at center shown as the focal point of the dramatic perspective and the play of light.
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil, verso TL to TR: "Ellora. Sutor ka Jompri [sic] Cave. Interior"; verso C: "1172"; blindstamped, verso BL: "PLÂTÉ LTD. // CEYLON // COPYRIGHT"
[Gary Edwards Gallery, Washington, DC, until 2011]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 60," September 11, 2012–January 13, 2013.