Miscellaneous Buddhist sculptures from Rhode Tope, Sanghao, Peshawar District 10031131
Photographer: Serrot, M.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of Miscellaneous Buddhist sculptures from Rhode Tope, Sanghao, Peshawar District taken by M.Serrot in 1883. This is one of a series of photographs taken for H.H. Cole at Mardan by Serrot. Cole described these images, "No. 1 [top left] is a fragment of a panel showing figures with joined hands. No. 2 [centre] is...a representation of Maya and the eagle. No. 3 [top right] is a small pilaster, with a Corinthian cap and the shafts ornamented with figures...No. 4 [middle left] represents a doorway with a castellated superstructure. The figures in the entrance appear to be welcoming a person of distinction. No. 5 [middle right], a man holding a knife or dagger kneels over a lying figure...No. 6 [bottom]; here Buddha is represented being welcomed by some people outside a walled town or castle..."
From the first and second centuries AD onwards, Peshawar district, in northern Pakistan, became famous for producing sculptures like those in this photograph. Known as Gandhara, it was ruled by a dynasty of Chinese origin called the Kushans. They were Buddhists and under their rule, 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 seen, in the figures draped clothing, their curly hair and the naturalistic modelling of their bodies.