The width of this frieze suggests that it was probably intended as decoration for a building. Considering that the majority of extant Gandharan art focuses on the Buddha, it is likely that this frieze came from a wider scene which depicted the religious leader. Gandharan art was heavily influenced by the expansion of Hellenistic culture, and statues and friezes often display influences from Greek art. The stylised arches and capitals are evidence of such influence here.
Gandharan Relief with Acolytes
A carved Gandharan schist stone frieze depicting Buddha’s acolytes, who stand underneath five arches. Each acolyte is simply clothed, in imitation of the Buddha’s modest state, and holds an item in his hands. These were most likely objects of devotion or ceremony, as the acolytes were known to lavish the Buddha with adornments. The arches under which they stand are designed to mimic Greek temple structure, with elaborate capitals between each figure. Above the arches runs a border with floral design, and the right end of the frieze is decorated with a beautiful spiralling motif.
Condition: Good condition with some aged chips.