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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
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