Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Terracotta female figure


    • Ground floor | Room 12 | India to 600

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Publications online

  • Indian Art in the Ashmolean Museum by J. C. Harle and Andrew Topsfield

    Indian Art in the Ashmolean Museum

    Hand-modelled figurines such as this, with pinch noses, split pellet eyes and crude appliqué representations of headdresses and ornaments, are found in abundance in the region around Peshawar, Pakistan. Some were found at nearby Chārsada by the excavator, Sir Mortimer Wheeler, who gave them the somewhat inappropriate name of “baroque ladies”. From scientifically conducted excavations, they are securely dated from around 200 B.C. to c.200 A.D. (Dani, pp.46ff., pl.XXIV-XXVII). The buttocks (rear view) are voluptuously rounded in a naturalistic style, in striking contrast to the schematised front view. The larger group to which these figures belong, all distinguished by this primitive technique, have been found at chalcolithic period settlements from as far west as eastern Iran and variants are still made a toys in present day Bengal. It is doubtful, whether the majority of these figures, even in early times, can be dignified with the name of mother-goddesses.

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