BUST OF A MONK
GANDHARA, HADDA STYLE
4TH - 5TH CENTURY AD
H. 28 CMS, 11 INS
An outstanding stucco portrait bust of a monk, perhaps one of the Buddha’s venerable disciples Ananda or Kasyapa, his face with an intense spiritual gaze and furrowed brow, with traces of red pigment.
This remarkable sculpture may represent one of the Buddha’s two most favoured disciples, Ananda and Kasyapa. It is reminiscent of the great stucco bas-reliefs of central Buddhas flanked by disciples at Tapa-i-Shotor, Hadda, Afghanistan, now destroyed and visible only in photographs – see fig. 50 in Jonathan Tucker, The Silk Road: Art and History, London: Philip Wilson Publishers, 2003.
The British Museum has a related stucco head of a monk, also reputedly from Hadda – see no. 620 in W. Zwalf, A Catalogue of the Gandhara Sculpture in the British Museum. London: British Museum Press, 1996. The Musée Guimet has a similar monk head, also from Hadda –see cat. no. 75 in Afghanistan: Une histoire millénaire. Exposition organisée par la Réunion des Musées nationaux, le Musée National des Arts Asiatiques- Guimet et la Fundacion la Caixa, Barcelone, Paris, 2002.