India. Mathura, Gupta Period / Head of Buddha / 5th centuryIndia. Mathura, Gupta Period
Head of Buddha
5th century

View Larger Image

View Full Catalog Record Below

This image is one of over 108,000 from the AMICA Library (formerly The Art Museum Image Consortium Library- The AMICO Library™), a growing online collection of high-quality, digital art images from over 20 museums around the world. offers subscriptions to this collection, the finest art image database available on the internet. EVERY image has full curatorial text and can be studied in depth by zooming into the smallest details from within the Image Workspace.
Preview the AMICA Library™ Public Collection in Luna Browser Now

  • Cultures and time periods represented range from contemporary art, to ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian works.
  • Types of works include paintings, drawings, watercolors, sculptures, costumes, jewelry, furniture, prints, photographs, textiles, decorative art, books and manuscripts.

Gain access to this incredible resource through either a monthly or a yearly subscription and search the entire collection from your desktop, compare multiple images side by side and zoom into the minute details of the images. Visit for more information on the collection, click on the link below the revolving thumbnail to the right, or email us at .

Creator Nationality: Asian; Indian Sub-Continent; Indian
Creator Name-CRT: India. Mathura, Gupta Period
Title: Head of Buddha
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 400
Creation End Date: 499
Creation Date: 5th century
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: red mottled sandstone
Dimensions: Overall: 30.6cm x 16.6cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1963.504
Credit Line: John L. Severance Fund
Style or Period: India. Mathura
Context: The spirituality of Gupta sculpture is most evident in this head of Buddha with its oval-shaped face and sensuous, well-defined features. The gently arching eyebrows, outlined by a double-line, almond-shaped eyes with heavy eyelids, straight aquiline nose (now damaged), and broad sensuous lips all represent the usual Gupta idiom. Implying meditation, the semiclosed eyes convey a feeling of concentration. The subtle smile, which lights the face, creates the feelings of compassion and understanding expected of Buddha. The mood of tranquility and assurance is transmitted to the viewer at once, presenting a spiritual image of the master that bespeaks the sensitivity of the Gupta artist.Buddha's hair is arranged in snail-shell curls, with an auxiliary brain(usnisa) at the top of the head, usual for representations of Gupta buddhas. The ears once had long earlobes, which have been broken off. There are three 'beauty lines' on the neck, yet another standard Gupta feature.The red mottled sandstone, quarried at Sikri near Mathura, implies that the atelier responsible for this head was Mathura. The spiritual content of the head and its facial features are universal for both Mathura and Sarnath schools--the two most active centers of production during the Guptaperiod. Only the material distinguished them, the buff-colored Chunar sandstone typical for Sarnath and the reddish, often-mottled Sikri sandstone characteristic of the Mathura style.While the physical perfection of the facial features is by no means neglected here, the spiritual content has priority. Literature dealing with the Gupta period often defines it as the 'conquest of mind over body,' which sums up well the achievement of the Gupta artist who attained a perfect balance between spiritual and physical beauty. S.C.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1963.504
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

AMICA PUBLIC RIGHTS: a) Access to the materials is granted for personal and non-commercial use. b) A full educational license for non-commercial use is available from Cartography Associates at c) Licensed users may continue their examination of additional materials provided by Cartography Associates, and d) commercial rights are available from the rights holder.

Home | Subscribe | Preview | Benefits | About | Help | Contact
Copyright © 2007 Cartography Associates.
All rights reserved.