Pakistan and Afghanistan, Gandharan Empire, ca. 1st century CE. This is a fine example of a Gandharan stone carving; it shows a seated Siddhartha Gautama, richly decorated on a throne and holding items demonstrating his wealth pre-enlightenment. The Gandharan Empire made itself wealthy in part by controlling lucrative trade along the mountain passes between China in the East and the Near East and Mediterranean in the West; a great deal of this wealth went into local patronage of artisans and art. In the first century CE, Buddhism became fashionable amongst Gandharan elites, and the art produced at this time depicting the Buddha are some of the most striking Buddhist images from the past. Their artistic tradition also reflects the conquest of Alexander the Great and the introduction of styles from all sides, blended into a uniquely Gandharan tradition, which this Buddha exemplifies. Size: 3.25" W x 4.25" H (8.3 cm x 10.8 cm)
Provenance: Ex-private NYC collection
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