Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Barakat Gallery, A Gandharan Bubba head

A Gandharan Stucco Buddha Head
100 AD to 300 AD

Between c.100-400 A.D. Gandharan sculptors working in schist, terracotta and stucco produced 
an astonishing number and variety of Buddhist images. Gandhara was situated at the crossroads 
between east and west and thus came under a wide variety of artistic influences including Persian,  
Greek and Indian. It also became an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists from across Asia 
as it was claimed that events from the Buddha's former lives had occurred in the area.

This stucco head displays the Gandharan tendency to combine realism around the nose, mouth 
and cheek areas with deeply cut stylised eyes. Small traces of the original polychromy survive, 
for example remains of a red pigment in the earlobes and around the hair-line. Traces of black 
are also apparent in the curls of the hair. The hair is arranged in a top-knot. This was the 
Gandharan version of the ushnisha, a mound on the head which symbolised the Buddha'
spiritual wisdom. Traces of an urna, or third eye, are also just visible on the forehead, outlined 
in red. The bottom of both earlobes has been lost but it is still possible to make out their elongated 
form. This was a reference to the Buddha's former wealth, symbolised by the effect of wearing 
heavy earrings. Despite small areas of loss, the serenity of the expression, partly created 
through the downcast eyes, has been preserved.  This is beautiful example available at an 
exceptional price.
To see additional information and pricing on this item as well as other select 
Gandharan pieces in the collection please click HERE
Barakat Gallery
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