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Gandharan Stucco Head of a Bodhisattva, Region of Hadda, 3rd-5th Century



A striking Gandharan molded stucco head of a male Bodhisattva, tentatively identified as Manjushri, ancient region of Gandhara, probably Hadda or surrounding area, 3rd-5th century. The Bodhisattva is sculpted of stucco in an idealized manner as a youthful male, with soft and kind features, a benign expression on his face. He wears an elaborate pleated turban wrapped around his head, with two sweeping lobes at the front. His turban secured on one side by a small image of a roaring lion. The lion may be read as a reference to Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, who is often depicted as riding or subduing a roaring lion, a metaphor for taming the wild thoughts of the mind. Manjushri gazes outwards in a beatific manner from almond shaped eyes, a gentle smile on his lips. The eyes at different levels when looking at the sculpture head on, indicating the original placement of the head was meant to be viewed at an angle. Remnants of pigments to the eyes, nose, mouth and ears. Mounted on a custom black metal stand. Hadda was an important center of Buddhist learning in the early history of Greco Buddhist Gandhara, and at one time may have housed a bone relic of the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni. The sculpture and architecture of Hadda followed Hellenistic artistic conventions faithfully, leading some scholars to believe the distinct Greco Buddhist style of Gandhara was first developed in Hadda before spreading to the rest of the region. The kingdom of Gandhara was situated at a crossroads of trade and cultures. Being one of the last remnants of Alexander the Great's Empire, the inhabitants of the Greco-Bactrian Buddhist kingdom preserved Greek culture and heritage for centuries after the decline of the Greek Empire. During that time, they also absorbed the cultures and traditions of the Indo-Parthians whose land they inhabited, creating a unique blend of Eastern and Western art.


  • Dimensions
    Height: 13.75 in. (34.93 cm)Width: 6 in. (15.24 cm)Depth: 6.5 in. (16.51 cm)
  • Style
    Hellenistic (In the Style Of)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    3rd-5th Century
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. Minor losses. Minor structural damages. Minor fading. Fragment of a larger statue. With repairs and restorations, as expected. Some pigment remaining.
  • Seller Location
    Austin, TX
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU894712650792

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity.
    Ships From: Austin, TX
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 7 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Austin, TX

Founded in 2001, Lotus Gallery offers a carefully curated selection of furniture, jewelry, sculpture and works of art spanning millennia, continents and cultures. Although it seeks out beauty in all its forms, they specialize in Asian antiquities, especially Chinese pieces from the Han and Tang dynasties and chinoiserie. Based in Austi...

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Established in 2001
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