1. Torso of a Bodhisattva
height 107 cm
This life-size torso of a bodhisattva is an iconic representative of Gandhara’s classically-inspired Buddhist art. It has been masterfully carved from a block of hard schist into a shape of great presence and spirituality. The influence of the Hellenistic aesthetic is evident in the natural treatment of the elegantly draped ankle-length robe and the eloquent suggestion of the position and volume of the limbs beneath the pleated cloth.
The figure is adorned with a rich diversity of jewellery: armbands – the left one outlined beneath the taut fabric of the fine shawl, a collar edged with delicate beads, a thickly-stranded necklace with a pair of makaras clutching a bead between their jaws, and a string of amulet boxes worn across the chest. A lock of hair still lies on the bodhisattva’s right shoulder.
The bodhisattva rests his weight on his right leg but the figure is far from static, the flow of the drapery folds creating a sweeping organic rhythm that enhances the tension and movement of the body and adds a lively character to the piece.
Private collection, Belgium, 1994-2012.
W. Zwalf, A Catalogue of the Gandhara Sculpture in the British Museum, London, 1996, II, fig. 61 and 63.
I. Kurita, Gandharan Art, II, The World of the Buddha, Nigensha Publishing, 2003, figs. 14 and 35.
K. A. Behrendt, The Art of Gandhara, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2007, p. 55, fig. 44.
Art Loss Register Certificate, Reference: S0064707.