Indonesian / Head of Buddha / 9th centuryIndonesian
Head of Buddha
9th century

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Southeast Asian; Indonesian
Creator Name-CRT: Indonesian
Title: Head of Buddha
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 800
Creation End Date: 899
Creation Date: 9th century
Creation Place: Indonesia, Central Java
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: Andesite
Dimensions: H. 13 in. (33 cm)
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1979.085
Credit Line: Asia Society: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Context: The introspective and serene countenance of this head of a Buddha illustrates the distinctive commingling of Indian prototypes that characterizes the style of art found in Central Java during the 9th century. The proportions of the face, the slight smile, and the downcast eyes can be traced back to the type of Buddha image developed in India during the Gupta period (c. 320-c. 500), while the spherical shape of the head and the full, round features are typical of slightly later works from eastern India.

Several large temple mountain complexes were constructed in Central Java during the rule of the Shailendra dynasty and dedicated to Buddhism. The 9th-century temple mountain Borobudur, the most famous of these complexes, is renowned for the beauty and majesty of its over 500 seated sculptures of the Buddha. Many of these seated Buddhas have lost their heads, thus it has been common to assign a provenance of Borobudur to works, such as this piece, that are close in style to the sculpture at this famous monument. However, certain features--for example, a minimally higher forehead and a marginally lower jaw--distinguish this head from those of the Buddhas at this site, which would suggest that while this head may have been produced during the construction of Borobudur, it was made for a lesser known site.

Related Document Description: Asia Society. Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. New York: Asia Society, [1981], p. 41.
Related Document Description: Treasures of Asian Art: Selections from the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, The Asia Society, New York. Hong Kong and Singapore: Hong Kong Museum of Art and National Museum Singapore, 1993, pp. 104, 105.
Related Document Description: Treasures of Asian Art: Selections from the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, The Asia Society, New York. Tokyo: Idemitsu Museum of Arts, 1992, pp. 73, 133.
AMICA ID: ASIA.1979.085
AMICA Library Year: 1999
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, Asia Society

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