Head of a Bodhisattva

2006au8866 jpg l

View the V&A API .json response

Acquired in 1919 (the spelunker thinks)

artist
Unknown
attributions_note
bibliography
PUBLISHED A Foucher, L'art Greco-bouddhique, vol 2, fig 426 Guy, John (ed.). ‘L’Escultura en els Temples Indis: L’Art de la Devocio’, Barcelona : Fundacio ‘La Caixa’, 2007. p.132, cat. 88. ISBN 9788476649466
collection_code
SSEA
credit
Given by F. St G. Manners Smith
date_end
0300-12-31
date_start
0150-01-01
date_text
late 2nd century-3rd century (made)
descriptive_line
Head of a Bodhisattva, schist, reportedly Peshawar, Gandhara, Pakistan, Late 2nd-3rd century
dimensions
Height: 23 cm, Width: 15 cm
edition_number
event_text
exhibition_history
: L’escultura en els temples indis: l’art de la devocio (CaixaForum, Barcelona 27/07/2007-18/11/2007)
gallery
South-East Asia, room 47a
historical_context_note
Images of the Buddha are often, in Gandharan art, flanked by two attendant bodhisattvas, Maitreya and Avalokitesvara. Bodhisattvas also appear to begin to be worshipped as independent deities. They are distinguished from the Buddha by their princely attire. This head has an elaborate headdress, constructed of ribbons and jewels. The central cockade, now missing, probably displayed the attribute identifying which of the two bodhisattvas this head belonged to. Technical analysis has revealed evidence of polychrome over a stucco ground with traces of gilding above. It appears that many of the stone sculptures of Gandhara were originally richly painted.
historical_significance
history_note
Presented by F St G Manners Smith
id
24880
label
last_checked
2014-08-29T21:02:39.000Z
last_processed
2014-08-29T21:02:39.000Z
latitude
34.063431
location
South-East Asia, room 47a, case 8
longitude
72.045517
marks
materials
materials_techniques
Schist with traces of pigment and gold
museum_number
IM.4-1919
museum_number_token
im41919
object_number
O24838
object_type
Sculpture
on_display
1
original_currency
original_price
physical_description
place
Peshawar
primary_image_id
2006AU8866
production_note
Reportedly Peshawar, Gandhara, Pakistan
production_type
public_access_description
The fine carving of this head indicates that it belonged to a standing bodhisattva image of very high quality. (Bodhisattva is the name given to one on the path to becoming a buddha.) It has an elaborate headdress, constructed of ribbons and jewels. The central cockade (now missing) originally slotted onto the raised tapering tenon on a disc prominently displayed at the centre of the turban and bejewelled diadem. This probably displayed the attribute identifying the specific bodhisattva this head belonged to. The beautifully carved head has an auspicious forehead mark (‘urna’) and the wavy moustache much favoured in the Gandharan school of Kushan Buddhist art. The Museum records indicate that this sculpture was ‘found near Peshawar’, in the Gandharan region. The head in not worked fully in the round. This suggests that it was intended to be displayed against a temple structure or in a wall niche. In Gandharan art, images of the Buddha are often flanked by two attendant bodhisattvas, Maitreya and Avalokitesvara. Bodhisattvas also began to be worshipped as independent deities in this period. They were clearly distinguished from the Buddha by their princely attire. Scientific analysis has revealed evidence of polychrome over a stucco ground with traces of gilding in the headdress. This confirms the widespread use of polychrome on stone as well as stucco sculptures.
related_museum_numbers
rights
3
shape
site_code
VA
slug
head-of-a-bodhisattva-sculpture-unknown
sys_updated
2014-08-07T00:00:00.000Z
techniques
title
Head of a Bodhisattva
updated
vanda_exhibition_history
year_end
300
year_start
150