Gandhara was a historical region in what is now Pakistan and Afghanistan. It was located on the route by which Buddhism
was transmitted out of India to China, and was also, in 327 B.C., the easternmost area to which Alexander the Great
brought Hellenistic culture. Gandharan art often depicts Buddhist subjects but does so in a style that reflects both Western
and Eastern iconographic traditions.
The pictures are of a fragment of Gandharan sculpture that measures just 7 1/2 x 5 1/2 x 6 inches. It is made of stucco, was once painted, and
dates from the second to third century A.D. The representation is of an ideal—a bodhisattva, a person who understands but who has
chosen to remain involved in life on behalf of others.