The Buddha is modelled in classical Gandharan style and displays several of the characteristic auspicious marks, laksanas, of the Buddha: these include the forehead mark, urna, and the ornate top knot, ushnisha. With a meditative expression, gently smiling lips adorned with moustache, slender nose, crisp, planar intersection of forehead and eyes, and wavy locks of hair, this idealized image of a Buddha bears all the classical features of Greek-inspired Gandharan sculptures. The reverse is unmodelled: the flat surface on the reverse indicates that the head was attached to a surface behind rather than free-standing. The Buddha Maitreya, or Bodhisattva, is here represented as princely figure, alluding to the historical Buddha’s life as a prince before he renounced his kingdom. Bodhisattvas are indeed more richly attired, compared than other figures of Buddhas which appear attired as mendicant monks.
To find out more about Gandharan art please see our relevant blog post: The Influence of Greek Art on Gandharan Statues.