3rd quarter of 2nd century
Red mottled sandstone
Overall: 21.6 x 18.3 cm (8 1/2 x 7 3/16 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1962.47
This head provides an interesting study of the Kusana facial type that evolved after the disappearance of the earliest kapardin image, which was prevalent in the late first and during the beginning of the second century AD.
The head of the kapardin image was distinguished by the plain, untextured hair marked only by the hairline and the spiral bun (kaparda) at the top of the head, which vaguely reminds one of an usnisa. The development that followed consisted of semicircular lines arranged in rows to create an impression of wavy hair. According to Lohuizen-de Leeuw the fist dated image in which this occurred is the Anyor Buddha inscribed in the 51st year of the (Kaniska) era (AD 129). The convention seems to have been inspired by the Gandhara style that began penetrating the Mathura school during that period. It continued in use over the next 50 years (until c. AD 1810)---when the Gandhara influence in Mathura remained strong---and in some instances even longer, as can be verified by the Jina images dated to the 18th and 22nd years of the second Kaniska era (AD 195 and 199).
This mode of depicting hair, alone, could be used for a more precise dating of the head, if one subscribes to another claim made by Lohuizen that the horizontal hairline indicates the earlier period of Gandhara influence, while the one with sideburns, as seen here, is characteristic of the later phase, toward the end of the first century of the Kaniska era (c. 180 AD).
The oval-shaped face has roundish, bulging eyes with double-outlined eyelids under the almost continuous rigid eyebrows. In the center of the forehead is a small round urna. The straight nose is not very prominent, and the full sensuously cut lips are rather small.
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