Polynesian objects from early European exploration, £19.99
Grey schist relief of a seated winged atlas figure
From Jamalgarhi, Gandhara,
2nd-3rd century AD
This finely studied relief of a seated, winged
He has a powerful and muscular torso, and long undulating curly hair, the locks resting on his shoulders and merging with his beard.
The sculpture comes from an architectural context; it would probably have been placed on a beam near a roof, symbolically fulfilling Atlas' mythological role by supporting a structure.
W. Zwalf, A catalogue of the Gandhara sc, 2 vols. (London, The British Museum Press, 1996)