New Evidence for the Identification of the Figure with a Bow in Depictions of the Buddha’s Life in Gandharan Art

Robert Arlt, Satomi Hiyama


This paper aims to draw attention to some literary sources concerning the century-long debated identity of a male figure holding a bow, depicted in scenes of Śākyamuni’s Great Departure in Gandharan Art (figs. 1–4). These literary sources, that seem to have been overlooked by most art historians, may offer a clue as to his identity. Since the paper’s main contribution lies in raising new questions, the authors would like it to be seen as a preliminary report on work in progress. 

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