A fine Gandhara Grey Schist Head of a Bodhisattva, ca. 2nd - 3rd century CE
Regular price25,000 USD
This object qualifies for free USA shipping and a flat rate fee of $60 if shipping internationally.
This well-modeled head, with its youthful Hellenic features and wavy hair, depicts the Maitreya ascending to enlightenment. Carved life-sized and three-quarters in the round, the almost trance-like facial features are sensitively portrayed by the serene expression, slight smile of the mouth, and the lowered lids of the eyes below the gracefully arched brows. The Bodhisattva wears a fancy jeweled headdress and small mustache above generous lips.
Gandharan style of Buddhist visual art developed in what is now northwestern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan between the 1st century BC and the 7th century CE. The style, of Greco-Roman origin, seems to have flourished largely during the Kushan dynasty and was contemporaneous with an important but dissimilar school of Kushan art at Mathura (Uttar Pradesh, India). The Gandhara region had long been a crossroads of cultural influences and during the reign of the Indian emperor Ashoka (3rd century BCE), the region became the scene of intensive Buddhist missionary activity. In the 1st century CE, rulers of the Kushan empire, which included Gandhara, maintained contact with Rome. In its interpretation of Buddhist legends, the Gandhara school incorporated many motifs and techniques from Classical Roman art, including vine scrolls, cherubs bearing garlands, tritons, and centaurs. The basic iconography, however, remained Indian.
Condition: Overall surface encrustation with some scattered ancient minor losses that do not detract. Intact and in very good condition overall. A very naturalistic and sensitive sculpture presented on a museum quality custom mount.
Provenance: Walter Randel private collection since early 1990s thereafter private NJ collection, acquired in 2010.
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