Buddhist Monuments from Khotan in the Collection of the Hermitage

In the early centuries A.D., miniature Buddhist sculpture from Gandhara became wide spread on the territory of Eastern Turkestan and Middle Asia. This is supported by the finds of archaeological expeditions, as well as by numerous research publications. Samples of Gandharan miniature sculpture carved of stone and ivory were found in Khotan by the 1900–01 expedition of Aurel Stein. One of the first research publications on the subject was S. F Oldenburg’s article dedicated to Gandharan art relics found in Khotan. The majority of works described by S. F. Oldenburg are displayed in the Hermitage permanent exhibition. The figurines placed in the interior of the wooden reliquary from N. F. Petrovsky’s collection exemplify this type of sculpture. It is a well-known fact that N. F Petrovsky had his own suppliers from among the local population and collected only portable materials. His collection consists predominantly of objects found on the territory of Khotan oasis. The collection was purchased by the Imperial Hermitage in 1897. It consists for the most part of small-size articles.

Related Information

  • Author(s):
    Yu. I. Elikhina
    3rd – 4th centuries, 6th century, 9th century, 19th – 20th centuries
    Language of article:
    English, Russian

    Russian Expeditions to Central Asia at the Turn of the 20th Century. Collected articles. Edited by I. F. Popova. St Petersburg, Slavia Publishers, 2008.

    China, Russian Federation

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