Gandharan Black Schist Head of a Bodhisattva

SKU: HQ.0075

Origin: Near East
Circa: c. 2nd - 3rd century AD
Dimensions: 15.35" h x 8.25" w (39cm x 21cm), 20.8" h on stand (53cm h)
Medium: Black Schist

Monumental in size and made from a fine grained-black schist, the face polished, the expression is serene and benevolent, with partially closed eyes, the aquiline nose meets the softly smiling lips and mustache. The elongated ears, with a slight S shape, and confidently carved hair curls surmounted by a bulbous ushnisha.

Estate of Robert Plotz, New York, NY acquired in the 1990s; Thence by descent.

Fragmented, as shown, the face with a polished surface, the tip of the proper right ear chipped and put back, and with general chips and wear throughout commiserate with age. Overall in excellent condition.

Gandharan art of this period is heavily influenced by its early contact with Mediterranean cultures, primarily from the Hellenic world. The routes Alexander the Great took while on conquest remained linked by trade for centuries after he left. This depiction of the Buddha shows that influence in the soft overall oval-shape of the face and its well defined straight nose, arch of the brows, and heavily lidded eyes. It most likely would have been situated in a niche of a temple, with the back left unfinished either as an attachment for a halo or directly into the wall of the niche.



Gandharan Black Schist Head of a Bodhisattva


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