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Creator Nationality: Asian; Indian Sub-Continent; Pakistani
Creator Name-CRT: Pakistani
Title: Torso of a standing bodhisattva
Title Type: Object name
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 67
Creation End Date: 199
Creation Date: Kushan period (ca. late 1st-3rd century), ca. late 1st-2nd century
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: Schist
Dimensions: H. 64 1/2 in. (163.8 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1995.419
Credit Line: Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1995
Strategically located along the crossroads from the Mediterranean through ancient Bactria to northern India and China via Central Asia, Gandhara was of tremendous military and commercial significance. Throughout its early history it attracted many different figures and peoples-among them, Alexander the Great, the Seleucids, Scythians, Bactrians, Sogdians, Indians, Romans, and Sassanians-all of whom in varying degrees left their cultural imprint on the region. Under the Kushans, a nomadic people of Scythian origin (or who merged with the Scythians), Gandhara achieved its greatest glory. The most important Kushan ruler, Kanishka, was one of Buddhism's greatest patrons, prompting Gandharan iconography to become almost completely Buddhist. The area's artistic style, however, reflects the classical legacy of Alexander's cultural heirs and is markedly dependent upon Hellenistic and Roman prototypes. This combination of strong classical influence with a virtually Buddhist iconographic program is the hallmark of Gandharan art. The most popular Gandharan image, after those representing the Buddha, was that of the bodhisattva, a being who attains enlightenment and escapes the cycle of death and rebirth but chooses to remain on earth to help others achieve salvation. The ideal of the bodhisattva is one of the basic tenets of Mahayana Buddhism. Heroic in scale and conception, this majestic torso is stunning in its visual impact.
AMICA ID: MMA_.1995.419
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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