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.