Torso of a Bodhisattva — Probably Sahri-Bahlol Workshop, Pakistan (ancient region of Gandhara, modern Peshawar region), ca. 5th century.
The monasteries of the Gandharan region commissioned large-scale bodhisattvas in recognition of the growing popularity of these interventionist deities, which embody Buddhist compassion. Probably from the Sahri-Bahlol monastery, this large stone torso, from a figure originally about ten feet tall, is a spectacular survivor from that era. Sensitively modeled and dressed in a draped monk’s robe, it reflects a lingering memory of contact with the Hellenistic West.