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Gandharan Terracotta Head

$395.00
India, Pakistan, ancient region of Gandhara, ca 2nd to 4th century CE. A finely modelled terracotta head of Buddha presenting a sensitively modeled visage comprised of solemn half-closed eyes of an elegant almond shape, a long naturalistic nose, and a gentle smile. Size: 2.125" W x 3.5" H (5.4 cm x 8.9 cm); 5.5" H (14 cm) on included custom stand.

The Buddha's facial planes are veristically contoured, this realistic quality complemented by details such as the cleft chin. Traces of paint color the curled coiffure provbably once topped by an ushnisha. This technique shows stylistic affinities with the early terracotta production from Ghandaran sites, particularly Taxila. Alexander the Great conquered Gandhara in 330 BCE and with the help of the Indo-Greek kings introduced classical traditions that would influence Gandharan art for the following seven centuries. The stylized curly Mediterranean derive from classical sculptures such as the Apollo Belvedere (330 BCE), and the sensitive modeling of the expressive visage demonstrates a classical influence as well. A rare example of Greco-Buddhist art that demonstrates a strong syncretism between eastern and western traditions.

Condition: Upper section, possibly top knot missing, surface with liberal deposits.

Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection

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