This finely executed head exhibits several of the characteristic features by which one could recognise a great man: these marks, known as ‘lakshanas’ were codified in India in the pre-Buddhist era. Firstly, the Buddha is depicted with an ‘ushnisha‘: a protuberance on the top of the head, which may have originated in the bun hairstyle once worn by Nepalese nobility. Although the Buddha was born into a noble family, the ushnisha is generally considered a sign of the Buddha’s wisdom and enlightenment. His long earlobes recall the heavy earrings that the Buddha wore before he renounced his wealth. The circle between the eyes is called an ‘urna’: an identifying mark of the Buddha to represent his divine status and ability to see beyond the mundane realm.
Gandhara Stone Schist Head of Buddha
A fragmentary grey schist head of Buddha. The head has been finely modelled with a meditative expression and gently smiling lips. His hair is finely combed, terminating in an ushnisha. A raised urna is positioned between the delicately arched eyebrows, and the ears are elongated. The reverse is unmodelled, and the head was probably part of a larger statue originally.
Condition: Very fine condition; much of the head with light earthy accretions.