Statue of Buddha from Mian Khan Tope, Mala Tangi, Peshawar District
Photographer: Cole, Henry Hardy
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph, taken around 1883, attributed to Henry Hardy Cole, probably incorrectly, and showing a statue boxed for transportation. The label in the box identifies the find-spot as "Mian Khan. Tope at Mala Tangi'. This sculpture, according to Bloch's 'List of The Photographic Negatives of the Indian Antiquities in the collection of the Indian Museum' (1900), was 'said to be now in Madras'.From the first and second centuries AD onwards, Peshawar district, in northern Pakistan, became famous for sculptures like that 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 this sculpture can be clearly seen in the figures draped clothing, their curly hair and the naturalistic modelling of their bodies.