Monumental Bodhisattva Head
Pakistan (ancient region of Gandhara)
H. 19 3/4 in. (50.2 cm); W. 10 in. (25.4 cm); D. 10 in. (25.4 cm)
Gift of Christian Humann, 1977
Not on view
This head comes from a scupture that would have been more than twelve feet tall and likely stood along the perimeter of a Buddhist sacred area enclosing a stupa. By the fourth and fifth centuries monumental imagery became increasingly popular in Gandhara and was almost exclusively restricted to images of the Buddha. The bodhisattva’s turban and jewelry might indicate that he is a rare image of Shakyamuni prior to enlightenment. Alternatively, the bodhisattva may have attended the Buddha as part of a massive triad.