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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)


Photo: Paul Macapia


ca. 2nd-3rd century

The region of Gandhara in the western part of the Kushan empire was heavily influenced by the sculptural styles of the Greco-Roman world. An interest in naturalism is evident in the folds of the drapery and the accent on the body of the Buddha. The wavelike hair pattern is typically Gandharan in style. Here the Buddha is seated in meditation in the lotus position (padmasana), with his hands in his lap and his eyes lowered. The elongated earlobes, the protuberance on the head called the usnisha, and the tuft of hair between the eyes, called the urna, are all hallmarks of the Buddha. At the base are three similarly seated Buddhas flanked by attendants.
Dark gray schist
36 x 22 1/2 x 8 in. (91.44 x 57.15 x 20.32 cm)
Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection
Photo: Paul Macapia
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Volunteer Park, Indian Buddhist Sculpture, February 3 - August 20, 1990

Vancouver, British Columbia, Vancouver Art Gallery, Distant Reverence: Buddhist Sculpture From The Seattle Art Museum, August 16 - October 22, 1989
Published ReferencesSalmony, Alfred, The Seattle Art Museum, in Parnassus, Volume 7, No. 3, March 1935, p.17 illus. (b&w)

McCarter, William and Rita Gilbert, Living with Art, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1985, p 437, illus. no. 547

Fuller, Richard E., Seattle Art Museum, Seattle: Seattle Art Museum, 1946, p. 18

Handbook, Seattle Art Museum: Selected Works from the Permanent Collections, Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 1951, p. 24 (b&w)

Ingholt, H., Gandharan Art in Pakistan, 1957, p. 33, pl. XIII, 3

Janson, H.W., Key Monuments of History of Art, 1959, p. 285

Wallbank, Taylor, Bailkey, Carson and Mancall, Civilization Past and Present, (1968), textbook and overhead slide program

McCarter, William and Rita Gilbert, Living with Art, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1985, p 437, illus. no. 547

Lee, Yu-Min, The Maitreya Cult and its Art in Early China, Berkeley, CA: Asian Humanities Press, 1985

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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