Object Record

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Catalog number 60.22
Title Seated Bodhisattva
Object Name Figure, Religious
Description Figure of a seated Bodhisattva. Common adornments among Gandhara Buddhism style bodhisattvas iclude large earrings, a short, wide necklace with medallions, a longer braided one with a bead in the middle, and two longer chains across the chest. One of the chains on the chest is worn under the arm, just off the shoulder. Suspended from the former are charms, which represent those worn in real life to protect people from evil. Other attributes inherent in the Gandharan style are arched eyebrows, almond-shaped eyes, and simple halos. This seated bodhisattva displayes all of these elements. 1-300 AD

Reference: Winter, Amy H., with Xiaoping Lin (eds.), "The Light of Infinite Wisdom: Asian Art from the Godwin-Ternbach Museum and Other Collections," Queens College, CUNY, 2003.

The Gandharan style, which developed in Northern India during the Kushan period, is known predominantly for its relief sculptures in gray schist stone. The style is characterized by its apparent Greco-Roman influence which is responsible for the naturalistic appearance of the figure, most evident in the folds of drapery. According to some sources, the Greco-Roman influence might also be responsible for images of the Buddha in human form that developed at this time. Before the Kushan period in India, Buddha was usually represented in art by symbols such as footprints and his lotus throne.

In the Buddhist religion, the most important figures, next to the Buddha himself, are bodhisattvas. In Buddhist doctrine, bodhisattvas are beings who have attained the highest level of enlightenment, but delay their entry into Nirvana to help others on the path to salvation. Figures of bodhisattvas are easily distinguishable from figures of Buddha. While Buddha figures wear monastic garments and are very austere, bodhisattvas wear the garb of princes and are heavily adorned with jewelry. Common adornments among Gandhara Buddhism style bodhisattvas include large earrings, a short, wide necklace with medallions, a longer braided one with a bead in the middle, and two longer chains across the chest. Suspended from the chains are charms, which represent those worn in real life to protect people from evil. Other attributes inherent in the Gandharan style are arched eyebrows, almond-shaped eyes, and simple halos. This seated bodhisattva displays all of these elements.
Medium/Material Grey schist stone
Dimensions H-20.25 W-14.25 inches
Year Range from 1.0
Year Range to 300.0
Search Terms Asian
South Asia
India
Kushan
1st century AD
2nd century AD
3rd century AD
4th century AD
Devotional
Ceremonial
Figure
Statuette
Bodhisattva
Deity
Buddha
Buddhism
Sculpture
Stone
Exhibition and Publication History *"Queens College Art Collection," 1960, #187, ill p. 27
*"Thirty Years of Collecting," G-TM, 1986. M. Simon, Curator.
* "The Art of Buddhism," trans. A.E. Keep, Greystone Press, NY 1968, pp. 236-242
* "Director's Choice, Part I," GT-M, 4/17-6/1/2002. A. Winter, Curator
* "The Light of Infinite Wisdom," GT-M, 10/15 - 12/20/2003, A. Winter, X. Lin, Curators, #1, ill., p.9.
* "Year of India 2012-2013," Lobby Gallery, GT-M, 9/2012-8/2013.
Culture Indian/Gandharan