Maitreya (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

2nd-3rd century
gray schist
Gandhara, possibly the region of Hadda (present-day Afghanistan), Pakistan
Overall: 38 7/8 × 13 5/8 × 6 1/2 in. (98.74 × 34.61 × 16.51 cm)
The sculptural workshops of Kushan-period Gandhara, like those at Mathura, were prolific. Rather than red sandstone, however, the choice material in this northwestern region was grey schist. Most of the religious imagery surviving from Gandhara isBuddhist. One of the most popular subjects was the Bodhisattva Maitreya, who will appear in the future as a Buddha and lead humankind to salvation. Though he is fully enlightened, Maitreya's rich ornaments-a diadem, earrings, and necklaces-signifyhis continued involvement in the temporal world. His realistically rendered upper body and the profuse folds of his drapery reveal the strong influence of the Greco-Roman west on the artistic conventions of Gandhara.
Kushan period
Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, Gift of Paul Mellon
Dye, Joseph M. The Arts of India: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. London: Philipp Wilson, 2001. (cat. no. 8, p. 98)
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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