Japanese Antiques by Ichiban Oriental and Asian Art
Gandharan Terracotta Head of a Bodhisattva – 2nd-4th C.

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Indian Subcontinent: Pre AD 1000: item # 568689

Please refer to our stock # 39 when inquiring.

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Ichiban Japanese & Oriental Antiques
Post Office Box 395
Marion, CT 06444-0395

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Gandharan Terracotta Head of a Bodhisattva – 2nd-4th C.
A rare 2nd-4th century Gandharan terracotta head of a Bodhisattva. This terracotta head of a Bodhisattva is beautifully modeled and had very little damage. Excellent detail to the Graeco/Roman style hair and the mustache - the overall effect is one of serenity. It would appear that it was buried for centuries – probably resting on the left side of the face as that side shows some light burial degradation. You can also see the traces of ancient vegetation at the back of the head where it fell off the original full sized sculpture. The head measures 4 3/4" high by 3 1/2" wide by 3 3/4" deep.

Gandhāra is noted for the distinctive Gandhāran style of Buddhist art, a consequence of merger of Greek, Syrian, Persian and Indian art traditions. A very beautiful piece that dates from the 2nd/4th century. The Gandharan Empire was located in what is now largely occupied by North West India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The art and sculpture of the region that has come to be known as Gandhara combines Hellenistic or Graeco-Roman artistic techniques and modeling with Indian Buddhist iconography to create a recognizably Indian hybrid. By the end of the 1st century these aesthetic traditions had developed into a recognizable Gandharan style. Sculpture in stone, usually Schist, are considered to predate those made from Stucco although both materials were used from an early date.

Terracotta examples are very rare as only very few survived and are seldom seen. Gandharan artists were concerned with the naturalistic modeling in realistic detail. These works were largely destroyed by the Taliban in recent years - this one came out before their terrible regime was ended. Art such as this was produced in Ancient Ghandara, a great kingdom located in the region of the Potohar plateau and the northern side of the Kabul River in modern-day Pakistan/Afghanistan. In the 4th Century BC, however, this region constituted the farthest reaches of the Greek Macedonian Empire under Alexander the Great. The characteristic art produced here exhibits unmistakable Greek influence.

Immediately following the Parthian period, Ghandaran’s artistic "Golden Age" flourished where some of the finest sculptures were produced of any Ancient Civilization. This particular sculpture is one of the nicest we have had in the collection.

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