Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Monumental Bodhisattva Head

5th century
Pakistan (ancient region of Gandhara)
H. 19 3/4 in. (50.2 cm); W. 10 in. (25.4 cm); D. 10 in. (25.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Christian Humann, 1977
Accession Number:
Not on view
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.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Buddhism Along the Silk Road," June 2, 2012–February 10, 2013.

Related Objects

Door Guardian (Dvarapala)

Date: ca. 4th century Medium: Stucco Accession: 1991.132 On view in:Gallery 236

Standing Bodhisattva Maitreya (Buddha of the Future)

Date: ca. 3rd century Medium: Gray schist Accession: 1991.75 On view in:Gallery 235

Seated Buddha

Date: 1st to mid-2nd century Medium: Bronze with traces of gold leaf Accession: 2003.593.1 On view in:Gallery 235

Monumental Head of Buddha

Date: 4th–5th century Medium: Stucco Accession: 1985.388 On view in:Gallery 236

Head of Buddha

Date: ca. 4th century Medium: Stucco with traces of paint Accession: 13.96.4 On view in:Gallery 236