Gandharan / Kneeling Figure / 4th-5th centuryGandharan
Kneeling Figure
4th-5th century

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Indian Sub-Continent; Indian
Creator Dates/Places: Gandharan
Creator Active Place: Gandharan
Creator Name-CRT: Gandharan
Title: Kneeling Figure
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 300
Creation End Date: 499
Creation Date: 4th-5th century
Creation Place: Afghanistan
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: Stucco with traces of pigment
Dimensions: H. 12 1/8 in. (30.8 cm)
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1979.004
Credit Line: Asia Society: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Context: This sculpture, which most likely represents a female donor, was once part of a larger scene. Her clothing identifies her as a laywoman and a member of the ruling warrior class known as the kshatriyas. She holds a large sash, probably made of an expensive material, and a piece of fruit. It is likely that she was once shown offering gifts to an image of a buddha. Stucco sculptures such as this one, which probably would have been attached to the exterior of a building, have been excavated in large numbers around the city of Hadda in present-day Afghanistan. The use of stucco reveals Western influences--introduced when Alexander the Great conquered the Gandhara region in the 4th century BCE--and appears to have been most common from the 3rd through the 5th centuries. Such sculptures were first modeled in clay and covered with a thin layer of gypsum plaster. Then a thinner, finer stucco was applied and modeled to form the facial features and other delicate details. These sculptures were also often covered with a gluey plaster called gesso and painted. Traces of a red checkered pattern are visible on the tunic and skirt of this kneeling woman. This technique for making stucco sculptures to decorate buildings is believed to have originated in Alexandria, in part to replace the more expensive and labor-intensive marble sculptures common in the Greco-Roman world.
Related Document Description: Asia Society. Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. New York: Asia Society, [1981], p. 8.
Related Document Description: Czuma, Stanislaw J. Kushan Sculpture: Images from Early India. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 1985, pp. 24, 25, 217, 219, 220.
Related Document Description: Lee, Sherman E. Asian Art: Selections from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd-Part II. New York: Asia Society, 1975, pp. 11, 20.
Related Document Description: Young, Mahonri Sharp. 'Letter from the U.S.A.: The Second Seventy.' Apollo (February 1975), pp. 136, 139.
AMICA ID: ASIA.1979.004
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, Asia Society

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