Silk Road Collection
Central Asia

Statue of the Buddha

  • Central Asia
  • Swat, Pakistan
  • from the 2nd to the 3rd centuries AD
  • The Kushan Dynasty
  • grey schist
  • 97.0cm in height

Although it is missing the right hand, it forms the mudra of semui-inwhich originated from Western Asia, and stands in contrapossto which is influenced by ancient Greece. The halo has a plant motif reminiscent of the laurel wreath and a Kharosthi inscription which reads "The gift of Momadata, wife of Balasoma, wife of a goldsmith, in the Dharmarajika [stupa] established by King Aso(ka) at the capital city Trama. By this root of merit all beings are caused to attain nirvana." (R. Salomon) The base depicts what is believed to be the Balasoma family holding a memorial service with a sacred torch, which shows that they were Iranian Zoroastrian.