Statue of Buddha from Mala Tangi, Peshawar District
Photographer: Cole, Henry Hardy
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph taken c.1883 and attributed to Henry Hardy Cole, (probably incorrectly) of a statue of Buddha, boxed for transportation, from Mala Tangi in the Peshawar district. According to Theodor Bloch's list of Negatives in the Indian Museum (1900) this statue is '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, its curly hair and the naturalistic modelling of its body.