Statue of a donor, Stucco
Gandhara is a transit point between East and West, connecting West Asia, India, and Central Asia.
It was here, in what is now northwestern Pakistan, that the first stone carved Buddha images were created around the 2nd century.
Around the 3rd century, Roman sculpting techniques were introduced, and stucco statues began to be made.
Stucco, in which a mixture of lime and clay is placed in a mold and formed into a mold, enabled flexible and detailed expression, and it is said that it was also a catalyst for the spread of Buddhist art because it was more suitable for mass production than stone carving.
This is a stucco statue of a donor made between the 3rd - 5th century.
It is thought to have been a part of the sculptures used to solemnize Buddhist buildings such as stupas, shrines, and monasteries.
Due to the soft material of stucco, the majority of the pieces show repairs, and many have significant damage to the neck and hands, but we are most pleased to note that this piece is in very good condition.
There are no repairs throughout, and it is well-preserved and retains its detailed expression well.
The most significant characteristic of Gandhara art is the western style of figurative expression, which is strongly influenced by Greek and Roman art.
The pose of the figure with one knee slightly bent and the body twisted, the large robe covering the entire body similar to the ancient Greek costume of himation, and the folds of the robe along the body show the influence of Greek and Roman art.
The deeply chiseled face, elegantly coiffed curly hair, and the prominent accessories worn around the ears and neck give us a glimpse of how gorgeous and beautiful this donor must have been.
The expression of the hand holding a fruit-like object (a grape?) on the chest is also very soft.
The piece has been authenticated by Kiyoshi Ichikawa, a well-known connoisseur of Western antiques.
Hadda is an ancient Gandhara Buddhist site located in what is now eastern Afghanistan, close to Pakistan.
The site is also famous for the excavation of tens of thousands of excellent stucco pieces.
The statue's beauty is striking from any angle.
The changing expression of the statue in the morning and evening light is a work to be appreciated.