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Miniature Female Head

Miniature Female Head

2nd century

Sandstone

Overall: 11.5 cm (4 1/2 in.)

Gift of Mrs. Eleanor Everett in memory of Mr. Morris Everett 1993.240

Description

Against the backdrop of the large-scale monumental sculpture for which the Mathura school is justly noted, this miniature head may appear insignificant, however, it exemplifies on a much reduced, diminutive scale qualties of style and execution that not only parallel developments noticeable on monumental sculpture but also reflect a certain freedom of treatment of facial details that clearly denotes that while the artist worked in a minor key, the creation was neither inconsequential nor a sequacious rendering of the major sculptural trends of large-scale sculptures from Mathura.

This small female head is comparable to the yaksi in CMA's 1965.250 in several readily apparent details of form and type. The dual strands of the large-beaded necklace, the oversized ear ornament, and the hairstyle with the lalatika in the circular, severely defined central section of the coiffure are reductive echoes of the larger sculpture that clearly suggest an analogous date for this head. While repeating some of the features of the yaksi, this small head retains an individuality and distinctness by means of fine, yet perceptible, details such as the indented secondary line defining the upper lip of the slightly parted mouth and the chiseled clarity of the nose and brows of this sloe-eyed image. The fullness of the facial planes and the sensuous curves of the full, lower lip, while accentuating by contrast the almost-metallic quality of the eye and nose, also quite compellingly link this head with the larger yaksis.

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