Exhibitions/ Art Object

Bust of a Bodhisattva

ca. 4th–5th century
Pakistan (ancient region of Gandhara)
H. 30 in. (76.2 cm); W. 17 in. (43.2 cm); D. 9 in. (22.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, 1942
Accession Number:
Not on view
This image was made at a time when the naturalism of the earlier sculptural tradition was giving way to a greater formality, as artists strove to depict enlightened beings. The elaborate hairstyle, with topknot and hair flowing behind the shoulders, suggests that the sculpture represents Maitreya, the Buddha of the future. This image was once embellished with metal elements—note the iron remains of an attachment in his left ear and the holes for affixing metal decorative elements along edge of his jeweled hair ornament.
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller , New York (on loan to MMA from 1937 to 1942; donated to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Heads in Sculpture from the Museum Collection," January 16, 1940–March 3, 1940.

New York. Paul Klapper Library, Queens College. "Man in the Ancient World: an Exhibition of Pre-Christian Objects from the Regions of the Near East, Egypt, and the Mediterranean," February 10, 1958–March 7, 1958.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Buddhism Along the Silk Road," June 2, 2012–February 10, 2013.

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