Miscellaneous Buddhist sculptures from Chinghai, Sanghao, Peshawar District
Photographer: Cole Henry Hardy
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph, taken around 1883 and attributed to Henry Hardy Cole (probably incorrectly), of a group of sculpture pieces from Chingai, Sanghao, including heads, sculpture slabs and fragments of friezes which are boxed ready for transportation.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.