This fragile, and hence rare, stucco image of the Buddha comes from the little-studied temple site of Fonduqistan to the west of present-day Kabul. The figure is an example of the so-called Irano-Buddhist style of Buddhist sculpture found in the region bordering the Hindu Kush northeast of Afghanistan. Ultimately this style had its genesis in the remarkable florescence of Buddhist creativity that distinguished the ancient Indian province of Gandhara during the first four centuries CE. The tasselled, four-pointed chasuble is distinctive to Fonduqistan pieces, while the soft, idealised face with its gentle smile and the naturalistic handling of drapery, body and posture, are part of the Gandharan legacy. His crown indicates he is a monarch, conflating the idea of the Buddha as ruler of the physical and spiritual realms.
The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.27.
Isao KURITA, Gandharan Art II The World of the Buddha, 1990, 335 (illus.).
Jackie Menzies (Editor), Buddha: Radiant awakening, Sydney, 2001, 64 (colour illus.), 184. cat.no. 46
Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Buddhist Art', Sydney, 2003, 27 (colour illus.).
Pratapaditya Pal, Orientations, 'Sensuous Spirituality: Hindu and Buddhist Art from the Indic Cultural Realm', pg. 80-87, Hong Kong, Sep 2000, 81 (colour illus.). fig.3
Buddha: Radiant awakening, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 10 Nov 2001–24 Feb 2002