May 28, 2014
May 29, 2014
May 29, 2014

Head of Jina

Head of Jina

c. AD 150–75

Red mottled sandstone

Overall: 21.6 x 18.3 cm (8 1/2 x 7 3/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1962.47


This head provides an interesting study of the Kusana facial type that evolved after the disappearance of the earliest kapardin image, prevalent in the late first and during the beginning of the second century AD. The head of the kapardin image was distinguished by the plain, untextured hair marked only by the hairline and the spiral bun (kaparda) at the top of the head that is vaguely reminiscent of an usnisa. The development that followed consisted of semicircular lines arranged in rows to create an impression of wavy hair. According to Dutch archaeologist J. E. van Lohuizen-de Leeuw the fist dated image in which this occurred is the Anyor Buddha inscribed in AD 129. The convention seems to have been inspired by the Gandhara style that began penetrating the Mathura school during that period. It continued in use over the next 50 years (until c. AD 1810)—when the Gandhara influence in Mathura remained strong—and in some instances even longer, as can be verified by the Jina images dated to AD 195 and 199). This mode of depicting hair, alone, could be used for a more precise dating of the head, if one subscribes to another claim made by Lohuizen that the horizontal hairline indicates the earlier period of Gandhara influence, while the one with sideburns, as seen here, is characteristic of the later phase, c. 180 AD. The oval-shaped face has roundish, bulging eyes with double-outlined eyelids under the almost continuous rigid eyebrows. In the center of the forehead is a small round urna. The straight nose is not very prominent, and the full sensuously cut lips are rather small.

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