Gandharan Stucco Buddha Head

SKU AM.0432

100 AD to 400 AD


8″ (20.3cm) high




Central Asia

Gallery Location



This delicate stucco fragment depicts the head of a Buddha. The topknot or ushnisha, symbolic of the Buddha's spiritual wisdom, is positioned just above the forehead in an unusually forward position. The hair is indicated by semi-circular bands of wavy curls etched into the wet stucco with a sharp point. Traces of the original polychromy survive; red pigment is visible along the hairline and on the lips, nose, neck and ears. The pupils of the eyes are outlined in black. A prominent raised urna, one of the lakshana, or magical marks of the Buddha, is visible on the forehead. The elongated ears refer to the historical Buddha's former life of luxury, before he renounced his princely status and set out on the path to enlightenment. The charm of this piece lies in its youthful features, particularly the small chin, and the slight tilt of the head. – (AM.0432)

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