Lot 1409: Gandharan Bearded Bust
December 8, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: 1st-2nd century AD. A schist bust of a male head, possibly Herakles-Vajrapani, in Greco-Indian style with thick beard falling in tiers and luxuriant hair; wide expressive eyes and mouth partly open; mounted on a custom-made stand. 17.4 kg, 35cm including stand (13 1/4"). Private collection, North London; acquired in the early 1990s. Vajrapani in Mahayana Buddhism, is extensively represented in Buddhist iconography as one of the earliest three protective deities or bodhisattvas surrounding the Buddha. Each of them symbolizes one of the Buddha's virtues: Manjushri manifests all the Buddhas' wisdom, Avalokiteshvara manifests all the Buddhas' immense compassion, and Vajrapani protects Buddha and manifests all the Buddhas' power. The Greeks who settled in the area introduced their own style of art and religion, often mixing these with indigenous styles and beliefs, and thus Vajrapani became associated with Herakles and is often depicted as the heroic demi-god, standing by the side of the Buddha.
Condition Report: Very fine condition.