late 6th–early 7th century
India (probably Bihar)
H. 18 1/2 in. (47 cm); W. 6 1/8 in. (15.6 cm); D. 5 5/8 in. (14.3 cm)
Purchase, Florance Waterbury Bequest, 1969
Dating from the end of the Gupta period, this image draws on stylistic traits from both Mathura and Sarnath, the most important art centers in India at the time. In its turn, this type of northern Indian sculpture played a major role in the formation of early Nepalese styles. Although the provenance of this figure is unknown, the indigo in its hair suggests it may have come from Tibet. Many Indian Buddhist icons were transported to this region as north Indian Buddhism declined in the twelfth century.