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Sculpture slab representing Buddha leaving his home, from Mian Khan Tope at Mala Tangi, Peshawar District

Sculpture slab representing Buddha leaving his home, from Mian Khan Tope at Mala Tangi, Peshawar District

Photographer: Cole, Henry Hardy

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1883

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(1074)

Item number: 10031074

Genre: Photograph

Photograph taken in c.1883, attributed to Henry Hardy Cole, probably incorrectly, of a boxed sculpture piece, representing Buddha leaving his home. A label is attached, giving the location the piece was found, which reads 'Mian Khan. Tope at Mala Tangi' which is in Peshawar district and is dated Dec. 1883. According to Bloch's 'List of Photographic Negatives of Indian Antiquities in the collection of the Indian Museum' (1900) this statue was 'said to be now in Madras'. From the first and second centuries AD onwards, Peshawar district, in northern Pakistan, was famous for it's sculptural traditions. 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 this sculpture slab can be seen, in the figures draped clothing, their curly hair and the naturalistic modelling of their bodies.

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