This superb Buddha head dates to the most prolific and vibrant era of Gandharan Buddhist art. Stucco and terracotta were favoured materials as they were easy to manipulate and suited to the application of polychromy. The hair is formed from regular semi-circles of rippling curls which also cover the topknot, symbolic of the Buddhaâ€™s spiritual wisdom. The texture of the hair contrasts with the smooth surface of the face. The arched eyebrows and deep-set downcast eyes are expertly moulded. The nose is long and straight, set above pursed lips which bear the faintest trace of a smile. The features are idealised as befits the representation of the Buddha, set apart from ordinary mortals by his enlightenment and spiritual wisdom.