Miscellaneous Buddhist sculptures from the lower monastery at Nutta and the monastery at Sanghao, Peshawar District
Photographer: Serrot, M.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph taken by M.Serrot in 1883 of miscellaneous Buddhist sculptures from the lower monastery at Nutta and the monastery at Sanghao, Peshawar District. This is one of a series of photographs taken for H.H. Cole at Mardan by Serrot. Cole wrote, 'The upper piece represents a chapel, or niche, with Buddhas and disciples. In the centre is part of a frieze with small relic-altars. Below are two fragments of a circular band with sculptures of figures and ascetics.' The image was printed from a broken glass plate and the locations are taken from Cole's caption.
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