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Sculpture - Head of a Bodhisattva

Head of a Bodhisattva

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Peshawar (made)

  • Date:

    3rd century-5th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Prof. Benjamin Rowland, through The Art Fund

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    South-East Asia, Room 47a, case 8

Physical description

A head of a Bodhisattva. The hair is tied up with a chignon and is decorated with jewellery in the form of bands clasped together at the front by a stupa. The face is surrounded by ringlets (broken on the left hand side) and looks to the left. The lips show signs of the original pigmentation.

Place of Origin

Peshawar (made)


3rd century-5th century (made)



Materials and Techniques



Height: 19 cm

Object history note

Prof. B.Rowland bequest- through the NACF.

Descriptive line

Head of a Bodhisattva, 3rd/4th century, stucco, NWFP, Gandhara

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

B. Rowland, "Zentralasien" (Kunst der Welt series) 1970, p.41
Skelton, Robert. 'The Indian Collections: 1798 to 1978' in The Burlington Magazine, vol. CXX, number 902, May 1978, pp. 297-304, Fig. 1 and p. 304.

Labels and date

13. Head of a Bodhisattva
A bodhisattva is a saviour who delays his own nirvana to help others achieve enlightenment. He is always depicted in princely dress as a sign of his attachment to the world. His features are often gentle to show his compassionate nature.
Lime composition with traces of polychrome
Gandhara/North-west Pakistan (Peshawar)
Bequeathed by Prof. Benjamin Rowland, through The Art Fund
Museum no. IS.12-1974 [06/06/2011]

Production Note

Peshawar region, Gandhara, Pakistan.

Subjects depicted



Sculpture; Buddhism


South & South East Asia Collection

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