© 2001, The Art Institute of Chicago

Lavishly berobed and bejeweled, this gray schist Bodhisattva—or Siddhartha before reaching nirvana—still retains his connection to the world. Probably originally placed in a stupa or temple, the 5-foot-high statue carved in the second or third century C.E. now resides in the Art Institute of Chicago. The Gandharan artist endowed the Bodhisattva with a sturdy musculature and richly pleated robes, both indicating the influence of Greco-Roman art. The Gandharans were also fond of carving relief scenes depicting incidents of Siddartha’s life—another sign of the influence of Western art.