Featured in the Classical, Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art online auction on March 23-27, 2017 are sculptures from as early as 4th century such as this Buddha Head which is the oldest in the collection.
This Buddha head reflects the typical Gandhara style with a clear hellenistic influence. The elongated earlobes only and the half-shut eyes show the Indian origin and taste.
The intensity of expression, the lengthened shape of eyes (that denote an oriental origin), the elongated earlobes, the circle (urna) in the middle of the forehead, the cranium protuberance (usnisa) are distinguishing characteristics of the Buddha. Furthermore, the sweet faraway look absorbed in deep meditation is typical of Buddhist art.
Face’s oval is perfect, eyebrows are gently arching, nose is straight. The face’s soft simplicity contrasts and points out the hair, which is treated according to an incisive cutting. Fineness of features is emphasized by the polychrome stucco.
The beautiful aesthetic quality of this head is a fine example of Gandharan stucco sculpture.
Expert: Renzo Freschi