Pakistan and Afghanistan, Gandharan Empire, ca. 1st century CE. A well-carved grey schist standing Buddha. He is dressed opulently, as the prince he was before enlightenment, with flowing robes and detailed jewelry. In one hand he holds a lotus flower, closed as if ready to bloom. Comes with custom stand. Size: 5.2" W x 11.5" H (13.2 cm x 29.2 cm); height on stand: 12.25" (31.1 cm).
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 includes 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.
Provenance: Ex-private Farmer collection, Maryland, from mid 1990's
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