Figure of Atlas

This winged figure is sitting facing to his left with legs and arms akimbo, his right knee upward. He has curly hair and beard, his Greco-Roman face set with a furrowed brow. The torso and arms are muscular and he wears a short loin cloth.Figures such as these are thought to be based on classical images of Atlas, who holds up the world. Some Gandhara examples have raised arms but most are in this position. They would have been placed in a decorative row between narrative friezes of the Buddha’s life.

Date/Period
2nd/3rd century
Region
Pakistan, ancient region of Gandhara
Dimension
Object size: 19.5 x 15 x 7 cm
Accession No.
2014-00535
Material
Schist
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Category
Sculpture