Sculpture of a Buddhist 'chapel' or niche, from Nullah, Sanghao, Peshawar District
Photographer: Cole, Henry Hardy
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a sculpture of a Buddhist 'chapel' or niche, from Nullah, Sanghao, Peshawar District, taken around 1883 and attributed to Henry Hardy Cole, (probably incorrectly). 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 'in Lahore'. From the first and second centuries AD onwards, Peshawar district, in northern Pakistan, became 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.