Collecting Masterpieces
Photo of gandhara-head-of-a-princess-in-stucco

 

Greco Buddhist Art
HEAD OF A PRINCESS IN STUCCO
Gandhâra : Afganistan/ Pakistan (305 BC - AD 450)

 

Object :
Nº 1871
Medium :
Stucco/plaster
Dimensions :
Height: 21 cm (8.2”) – Width: 11 cm (4.3”)

Hollow head of a female, molded in fine grain, light ivory beige stucco. The high chignon bun of the figure is held up by a crown that is surmonted with a bejewled tuft. The ears lobes are lengthened as a result of wearing opulent jewels, a common sign of belonging to the aristocracy. The eyes are wide open with a straight nose, well defined eyebrows and small mouth with hemmed lips. Prominent eyes are a characteristic feature of the regional style. The statuary technique of stucco was developed in Greco-Roman workshops in Alexandria. It involved the application of a succession of layers with an increasingly thin pressure and slow setting, a skill which required real expertise. This head derives from a low relief sculpture that once leaned against a temple wall. It must have been at a three-quarter angle as the face is asymmetrical. Excellent state of preservation. Some missing fragments, a sign of erosion. Presence of patina from excavation.

Gandhãra corresponds to present-day Pakistan and southern Afghanistan. By extending his territory to the Indus valley, Alexander the Great left a technical and stylistic tradition of Greek art in the service of Buddhist spirituality. This highly recognizable regional style reached its peak during the reign of the Kushans.