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Monumental Bodhisattva Head

Date:
5th century
Culture:
Pakistan (ancient region of Gandhara)
Medium:
Stucco
Dimensions:
Overall: H. 19 3/4 in. (50.2 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Gift of Christian Humann, 1977
Accession Number:
1977.191
  • Description

    This head comes from a scupture that would have been more than twelve feet tall and likely stood along the perimeter of a Buddhist sacred area enclosing a stupa. By the fourth and fifth centuries monumental imagery became increasingly popular in Gandhara and was almost exclusively restricted to images of the Buddha. The bodhisattva’s turban and jewelry might indicate that he is a rare image of Shakyamuni prior to enlightenment. Alternatively, the bodhisattva may have attended the Buddha as part of a massive triad.

  • See also
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    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
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