VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Seated Buddha from Gandhara
1895,1026.1
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The carving on this statue, made from a stone called schist, is incredibly detailed, as can be seen in the Buddha’s delicate fingernails, the folds in his robe, or the wavy lines in his hair. This is a style of statue that has been reproduced all over the world to show respect to the Buddha’s learning and enlightenment.

History of the Object
Soon after his enlightenment, the Buddha travelled to a deer park near the town of Sarnath where he preached his first sermon. The posture in this figure aims to show him in this manner ‘setting in motion the Wheel of Law’ to his followers. The Wheel of law in Buddhism explains the real nature of life and existence. At the base of the Buddha’s throne is an image of a bodhisattva – a highly spiritual person who is also destined for enlightenment. He’s wearing a turban and a halo and is flanked by worshippers.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Schist 
Measurements
Depth: 24 cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Pakistan 
Geography
Pakistan 
Time period
AD 2nd century ~ AD 3rd century 
Creation date
2nd Century - 3th Century 
Function
Show respect to the Buddha’s learning and enlightenment. 
Acquisition
Given by Eustace Smith in 1895. 
Copyright
Copyright Trustees of the British Museum 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
British Museum 
Museum
British Museum 
Credit line
 

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