Statue of a Bodhisattva from the village of Mahomed Nari, Hashtnagar, Peshawar District
Photographer: Cole, Henry Hardy
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a full-length statue of a Bodhisattva from the village of Muhammad Nari taken c.1883 and attributed to Henry Hardy Cole (probably incorrectly). A label attached gives the find-spot and notes that the sculpture was received from J. Dempster C.E. in December 1883. Bodhisattvas are a type of Buddhist deity who were once mortals. They became enlightened, yet instead of ascending to Nirvana, remained on earth to help others attain the same goal. They were a prominent feature of Mahayana Buddhist doctrine. The Bodhisattva in this photograph is sculpted in what can be broadly termed the Gandharan style. This idiom developed in the Peshawar region, situated in northern Pakistan, from the first century onwards and bears affinities with Graeco-Roman sculpture. In this photograph the draped clothes and naturalistic modelling of the body display these classical influences.