Miscellaneous Buddhist sculpture pieces from Mir Jan, Peshawar District. 10031098
Photographer: Cole, Henry Hardy
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a large collection of miscellaneous sculpture pieces from Mir Jhan in the Peshawar district, taken by Henry Hardy Cole in 1883. The collection is shown boxed for transportation and is comprised mainly of sculpture slabs or urdhvapattas (sculptures depicting scenes from the life of the Buddha). According to Bloch, the sculptures are 'said to be now in Bombay'. According to Bloch, the sculptures are 'said to be now in Bombay'. The photograph was taken under the jurisdiction of the Archaeological Survey of India, although the attribution to Cole is probably incorrect. From the first and second centuries AD onwards, Peshawar district, in northern Pakistan, became famous for sculptures like those pictured here. Known as Gandhara, it was ruled by a dynasty of Chinese origin called the Kushans. They were Buddhists and under their influence, the religion, and the arts associated with it were allowed to flourish. The reign of the Kushan king Kanishka, is particularly well known for its artistic achievements and it was during his reign, from 78 AD, that we find the first examples of the Graeco-Roman influenced Gandharan style of sculpture. The classical influence on these sculptures can be clearly seen in the figures draped clothing, their curly hair and the naturalistic modelling of their bodies.