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

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

Browse: 46 objects

Reference URL


Send e-mail

Contact us about this object

Send e-mail

Send to a friend

Stucco head of a man


    • Ground floor | Room 12 | India to 600

Objects are sometimes moved to a different location. Our object location data is usually updated on a monthly basis. Contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular object on display, or would like to arrange an appointment to see an object in our reserve collections.


Publications online

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

    Indian Art in the Ashmolean Museum

    In almost all cases such detached heads once belonged to a complete figure, sometimes in groups, more likely placed singly. This example, a “Socratic” type head of purely western classical inspiration, shows the ability of the sculptor in Gandhara to copy purely foreign types as a variant from the standardised heads of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas which were his stock in trade. To the contemporary Buddhist worshipper, versed to some extent in Brahmanical lore as he probably was, this personage was likely to represent a rsi or sage. The heads, sometimes secured to the bodies with a wooden peg, were easy prey to vandals and spoliators but there is evidence that at times they simply dropped off. It can rain abundantly in Gandhara, obliterating the carving in the easily soluble stucco. A head in the Museum’s collection shows where a fresh coating of stucco was applied, in which the features were modelled anew.

© 2013 University of Oxford - Ashmolean Museum