Buddha Shakyamuni with Bodhisattvas
Ancient region of Gandhara
Second half of 3rd century
Grey schist
85 x 71 cm (33.5 x 28 in.)
Private collection, Japan, acquired in the early 1970s

Art of the Silk Road, Shimane Prefectural Museum, Japan, 1973


Large size reliefs like this one are very rare. This work depicts the Buddha sitting on a lotus throne with his hands at the chest in dharmachakra mudra (preaching gesture). He is flanked by two standing figures: on the left side is a Bodhisattva wearing a turban, on the right side is Bodhisattva Maitreya with his hair arranged in a loop topknot, holding a water-flask in his left hand. Each figure has an umbrellas overhead.