- Museum number
- Object: The Buddha
Standing Buddha, carved in grey schist. The standing figure holds his robe in the lower left hand; the right hand, now missing, was originally raised in abhaya mudrā; part of the halo is missing on the right side, feet also missing; set in on a sandstone block.
The low neckline has a clearly distinguishable backthrow; this refers to that part of the robe which is thrown over the left shoulder after the body has been draped. The major folds, dense terraces and ridges, in varied relief and especially high between the legs, are rendered in two schemes on clinging drapery. The head is round to oval, with dense curving hair continuing from a peak into the uṣṇīṣa, which is partly flat at the top and deeply drawn in at its base, and has no visible band except for a small disc aligned with the ūrṇā and peak. There are small curls in higher relief beside the short projecting ears, which are slightly concave and have grooved lobes. The forehead is narrow and modelled. The eyebrows have a gently curving edge above a modelled slope to the open eyes, which have narrow lids over flat eyeballs. The small mouth is surmounted by a moustache, and the chin is full and well-formed.
The head is angled downwards and was centred on the halo by a short vertical line above the uṣṇīṣa. The breasts are rounded, with a nipple visible through the robes on the left, and the abdomen hardly protrudes. There are shallow grooved lines round the neck, and below the right shoulder a rough surface survives from a strut for the 'abhaya' hand. The left hand is somewhat large, with long fluid fingers and nails, and secures the robe by a small loop of its drapery.
- Production date
Height: 103 centimetres
Weight: 40 kilograms (approx)
Width: 32 centimetres
Depth: 22.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Two recurrent features of the draped Buddha image relate to the fall of the drapery, which can be represented as cloth gathered over the left wrist and falling from it (see 1947.0511.1), or as an edge under the length of the left forearm. This edge represents the backthrow (that part of the over-robe or outer-garment which is thrown over the left shoulder after the body has been draped), which goes along the left forearm and is held to secure the robes in the left hand by a corner which, together with a corner grasped from the first layer of cloth (the undergarment), usually appears looped, as in this figure.
For this early type see Marshall, 1960: 61, referring to similar figures as 'the earliest of their kind', and plus 58-9, figs 85-6. For other similar types see Peshawar 2086 (Tissot, 1985a: fig. 149); Berlin MIK 1 44, 114, 527; Cleveland 72.43, dated (Czuma, 1985: no. 107) to the second half of the 2nd century.
The angle of the right forearm and rough projection at the armpit where a strut supported the lost hand show that this Buddha was in the gesture of reassurance, offering protection to the worshipper. The left hand holds an end of cloth from the robe, and the lower undergarment can be seen above the lost feet. There is a noticeable moustache on the upper lip, and the broken halo has traces of an ancient repair. In type this Buddha is reminiscent of that on the Kaniṣka coin (no. 121).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2015 – 2016 4 Dec – 29 May, National Museum of Singapore, ‘Treasures of the World’s Cultures’
1985, London, BM, Buddhism: Art and Faith
1990 20 Oct-9 Dec, Japan, Tokyo, Setagaya Art Museum, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.129
1991 5 Jan-20 Feb, Japan, Yamaguchi, Prefectural Museum of Art, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.129
1991 9 Mar-7 May, Japan, Osaka, National Museum of Art, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.129
1994, Kyoto National Museum, Masterpieces of Buddhist and Hindu Sculpture from the British Museum
1994, Tokyo, Tobu Museum of Art, Masterpieces of Buddhist and Hindu Sculpture from the British Museum
1995-1996 24 Oct-18 Feb, Paris, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Serinde, Terre de Bouddha
2003 18 Oct-14 Dec, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2004 17 Jan-28 Mar, Kobe City Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2004 10 Apr-13 Jun, Fukuoka Art Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2004 26 Jun-29 Aug, Niigata Bandaijima Art Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2005 11 Apr-10 Jul, Seoul Arts Centre, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2005 25 Jul-8 Oct, Busan Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2005 27 Oct-2006 31 Jan, Haengso Museum, Keimyung University, Daegu, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2006 18 Mar-4 Jun, Beijing, Capital Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2007 3 Feb-27 May, Taipei, National Palace Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2007 14 Sep-2 Dec, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2009 1 May-20 Sep, Victoria, Royal BC Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2009 11 Dec-2010 10 May, Madrid, Canal de Isabel II, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2011 22 Oct– 2012 5 Feb, Perth, Western Australian Museum, 'Extraordinary Stories'
2012 18 Apr – 17 Jul, Abu Dhabi, Manarat Al Saadiyat, ‘Treasures of the World’s Cultures’
2012 Nov 30 - 2013 Apr 4, Bonn, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle, ‘Treasures of The World's Cultures’
2015, 26 Mar-5 Jul, The British Museum, Defining Beauty: the body in ancient Greek art
- 1.Broken,cracked and chipped at some places. The right forearm is broken above the wrist and the feet are lost.
2.The halo is incomplete, with a long, smooth edge and cramp mortises back and front from an ancient repair. There is a vertical break behind the halo which was repaired in modern times with two metal dowels.
3.Carved onto the sides. The back is smooth in parts, with some horizontal chisel grooves.
- Acquisition date
- Registration number