British Museum collections, £12.99
Height: 92.000 cm
Width: 30.300 cm
Depth: 16.100 cm
Asia OA 1899.7-15.1
Schist standing figure of Buddha
From Takht-i Bahi, in ancient Gandhara (north-west Pakistan), 1st century AD
The elegantly disposed folds of drapery falling over the torso and legs of this Buddha are heavily influenced by classical western prototypes. They help lend the figure and air of serenity and dignity. The Buddha assumes abhayamudra, the gesture of reassurance, offering protection to the worshipper with his raised hand, now lost.
Buddhism was the great religion of north-west India (now Pakistan), flourishing in Gandhara in the early centuries BC. It was from this area that Buddhist principles and art were transmitted to central Asia and unltimately, to China and Japan.
The sculptural traditions of Gandhara were clearly influenced by Greco-Roman models.
J.C.H. King (ed.), Human image (London, The British Museum Press, 2000)
W. Zwalf, A catalogue of the Gandhara sc, 2 vols. (London, The British Museum Press, 1996)