Meditating Buddha

Kushan period (200-300)

Asian Art Museum

Asian Art Museum
San Francisco, United States

This sort of Buddha image from Gandhara in present-day Pakistan must have been one of the models sculptors in China used in creating their first Buddha images. Like the earliest known Chinese Buddha image with an inscribed date, the one of 338 in the Asian Art Museum collection (B60B1034), the Gandharan image shows the Buddha seated cross-legged with hands held together in the lap and wearing a robe that covers both shoulders with a thick gathering at the neck. But differences abound. In the Chinese example the hands are shown tilted up rather than held horizontal. While the Gandharan artist was interested in the materiality of the robe and its relatively naturalistic draping, the Chinese artist regularizes the robe drapery into u-shaped patterns and makes it more symmetrical. The type of the two Buddha images is similar, but their style is quite different.


  • Title: Meditating Buddha
  • Date Created: Kushan period (200-300)
  • Location Created: Pakistan; ancient region of Gandhara
  • Physical Dimensions: H. 32.4 cm x W. 22.5 cm
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Medium: Schist
  • Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection, B60S541

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