This rare sandstone figure is a fine example of the 'International' style in Buddhist art that emerged in China during the Tang dynasty. In sculpture, this style shows a strong Gupta influence, a sensual yet muscular gracefulness, creating a synthesis of the two aesthetics which produced sculptures that possess an idealized beauty as well as a contained spiritual presence.
Compare a larger (104 cm.) sandstone sculpture of a bodhisattva from the North Wall, Cave 14 at Tianlongshan and now in the Reitberg Museum, Zurich, illustrated in Comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue of Chinese Buddhist Statues in Overseas Collections, Beijing, 2005, p. 1106-7, for recent and historical photographs of the figure in-situ. Of particular note is the contrapposto pose and similar manner in which the scarf is draped over the shoulder, and in which the dhoti falls in even pleats. Both figures also wear a closely related foliate necklace and have the distinguishing full stomach characteristic of sculpture of this period. Other figures from the Tianlongshan group are illustrated ibid., pp. 1103-5 and 1108-10.