Ascetic Artist: Unknown

1st or 2nd century

Asian Art

On view, 2nd floor, Asian Art

Once part of a larger narrative showing scenes from the lifetime of the historical Buddha, this figure’s lack of adornment and beard indicate that the sculpture represents an ascetic. Prior to developing his own path toward enlightenment—which he called the "Middle Way"—the historical Buddha Shakyamuni practiced different types of physical and mental austerities that were widespread throughout India.



Credit Line

Gift of Winthrop and Jane Sargeant

Accession Number



Kushan period (ca. late 1st–early 4th century)


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Winthrop Sargeant, (1903 - 1986) Salisbury, Conn; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
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