This impressive collection of sculptures originates from the Gandharan Empire (2nd Century BC-2nd Century AD) and encompasses a group of sizeable grey-schist and terracotta sculptures depicting Buddha and Buddha prior to his enlightenment in the form of the Prince Siddharta Gautama.
Each piece is unique and depicts Buddha in a variety of poses, the rendering of the limbs and differing attributes having particular significance or referring to specific events in Buddha’s life.
The Gandharan Empire was located in what is now largely occupied by North-West India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The art and sculpture of the region that has come to be known as Gandharan combines Hellenistic or Graeco-Roman artistic techniques and modelling with Indian Buddhist iconography to create a recognisably Indian hybrid. By the end of 1st Century these aesthetic traditions had developed into a recognisable Gandharan style.
Professor Butt established the Zahid Butt Kashmir Museum in Islamabad over a period of thirty-five years. Since childhood he was fasincated by the country of Kashmir, its art, peoples and natural beauty.
Continuing in his fathers footsteps, himself an antiques lover and connoisseur, Professor Butt went onto form a vast collection of artworks and publish his travelogue of Kashmir ‘Passage to Paradise, A lover in search of beauty’.
Please see our Gandharan Empire section for individual pieces.