Asian Art :
Gandharan Artefacts : Gandharan Stucco Head
Gandharan Stucco Head - AM.0227
Origin: Central Asia
6.5" (16.5cm) high
Collection: Asian Art
Location: Great Britain
| Photo Gallery
Mid-tan stucco head in the form of an older male
with traces of original slip remaining.
Gaunt, narrow face framed by beard and full head of
thick curls; furrowed brow, high cheekbones and
beak nose present a distinct and expressive
physiognomy that recalls Graeco-Roman prototypes
rather than traditional Gandharan styles.
Gandhara is an ancient kingdom that today denotes
northern Pakistan and northeast Afghanistan.
Situated at a confluence of trading routes along the
Silk Road, Gandhara was a melting pot of different
cultures and we see a vast array of influences in art
- Hindu, Greco-Buddhist, Jewish and Parsi.
After the conquests of Alexander the Great during
4th Century BC, we see a spread of Greek influence
throughout the subcontinent. By 2nd Century AD,
Gandhara had become the holy land of Buddhism.
By 3rd Century AD, the empire came under Sassanid
rule. Each successive culture left their imprint in art.
Asceticism is advocated in many religious traditions
such as Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism however
fasting and mortification are strictly forbidden in
Zoroastrianism, the official religion of the Sassanid
Empire. Overriding the conflicting strictures of the
dominant religions, this piece presents an
interesting juxtaposition between a Buddhist tenet
and Greco-Roman aesthetic.
Condition: Excellent; repaired from two parts.