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Head of Buddha - F|S Sculpture of South Asia and the Himalayas

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Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art

Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art
Washington, DC, United States

HEAD OF BUDDHA
Pakistan (ancient Gandhara)
3rd century
Schist
Gift of Ann and Alan Wolfe S1989.19

A very early image of Buddha, this serenely beautiful head was once framed by a halo and joined to a complete figure. The Buddha’s downward gaze conveys that he is meditating. His cranial bump (ushnisha), which signifies transcendent wisdom, and his forehead dot (urna) are marks of his perfected nature.

The sculpture was created for a monastic complex in ancient Gandhara, a region that now spans Pakistan and Afghanistan. In the third century, Gandhara was a crossroads that united the Greco-Roman world with India, and the Buddha’s wavy hair recalls classical images of Apollo.

Details

  • Title: Head of Buddha - F|S Sculpture of South Asia and the Himalayas
  • Date Created: 0200

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