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Sculpture from the Kushan Period
Sculpture from North India, 5th-7th Centuries
Jain sculpture
Sculpture of the Pala Period
Stone Sculpture from Hindu Temples
Sculptures from South India, 8th-9th Centuries
Bronze Sculpture of the Chola Period
Art for the Mughal and Rajput Courts
Hindu Temple Hangings
Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Sculpture from Nepal
Sculpture from the Kushan Period
Two Bodhisattvas from Sri Lanka
Head of Buddha
Pakistan, Gandhara area; Kushan period (late 1st - 3rd century C.E.), late 2nd - 3rd century C.E.
H. 14 1/2 in. (36.8 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
According to tradition, the historical Buddha Shakyamuni lived from about 563 to 463 B.C.E. Until roughly four hundred years after his death, however, the Buddha was not depicted in human form. Since no one knows what the Buddha looked like, his image was created to represent certain ideas about his life and his special capabilities. This Buddha head exhibits a number of characteristics that indicate his perfected and supernormal nature.These include a bump atop the head (ushnisha) signifying his expanded wisdom and a small circle in the middle of his forehead (urna). The Buddha's elongated earlobes refer to his early life as a prince, when he wore heavy earrings. When he left his father's palace and renounced material possessions, he removed his earrings. The holes left by the earrings remind the faithful that they, too, should reject worldly goods and pleasures.
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