VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Spirit with blossoms
MG 17190
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

If the subject portrays one of those “devata” (gods) paying homage to the Buddha by tossing blossoms, held here in the loose folds of his garment, this relief figure is carved in a classicizing style not unlike the portraits of the Emperor Alexander from the Hellenistic period. Even the subtle shift from lower to higher relief to create the illusion of sculpture in the round is inherited from Greece. With its delicate modelling, its plump oval face, this genius holding flowers is the figure of a youth of princely countenance.

History of the Object
Jules Barthoux excavation, 1927 (French Archaeological Delegation in Afghanistan). Buddhist foundation, site of Hadda, Jalalabad area. This relief figure comes from a niche (TK 142) in the courtyard of stupa TK 140, one of the two stupas flanking the southern end of the main courtyard of Tapa Kalan, the biggest Buddhist foundation in the site of Hadda.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Stucco 
Measurements
Width 37 cm. Length 55 cm.  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Afghanistan 
Geography
Afghanistan 
Time period
AD 3rd century ~ AD 4th century 
Creation date
3rd Century - 4th Century 
Function
Décor of a Buddhist Foundation, Tapa-kalan, site of Hadda 
Acquisition
French excavation in 1927 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
State property, France 
Museum
Musée National des arts asiatiques Guimet 
Credit line
 

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