Early Gandhara stone buddhas

2nd-3rd century, Gandhara region, Kushian period, buddha Shakyamuni, grey schist, private collection

2nd-3rd century, Gandhara region, Kushian period, buddha Shakyamuni, grey schist, private collection

close up

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Stone statues from the former Gandhara region are usually exquisitely crafted. The characters most commonly represented are the historical buddha (Shakyamuni), Maitreya and Avalokiteshvara Padmapani. Draped in the Greco-Roman style, they may be standing or sitting on a square throne  normally representing the buddha surrounded with attendants,  or sitting on a lotus-shaped throne, or a combination of both. Faces can be extraordinarily realistic and beautiful or rather naive in the case of the buddha. Hands and feet are large, often out of proportion for a rather short body.

1st-3rd century, Gandhara, Pakistan, buddha, schist, at Musée Guimet (Paris)

1st-3rd century, Gandhara, Pakistan, buddha, schist, at Musée Guimet (Paris)

 

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