Silk Road Collection
Central Asia

Head of the Prince Contemplating under the Tree

  • Central Asia
  • Gandhara, Pakistan
  • from the 2nd to the 3rd centuries AD
  • The Kushan Dynasty
  • grey schist
  • 38.0cm in height

The royalty-style (Kshatriya) Bosatsu has a halo and an Urna between the eyebrows, and wears a turban headdress. Comparing with similar examples, the scene represented in this work can be considered as "Jukka-kanko", where the prince went into meditation being astounded to witness the stronger preying upon the weaker through birds pecking at insects in the field. It is believed to be in meditation since the eyes are half-shut. The event was what prompted the prince to start seeking the path to truth and enlightment, and it is one of the Buddhist legends. There are many individual statues that are objects of worship like this one. The knot on the front side of the headdress is decorated with a head of a lion.