Monk's head
Title Monk's head
Accession Number 60.290
Museum Name National Museum, New Delhi
Gallery Name Archaeology
Object Type Archaeology
Main Material Terracotta
Country India
Origin Place Akhnoor, Jammu & Kashmir
Patron/Dynasty Gupta
Period / Year of Work 6th Century A.D.
Dimensions Ht. 17.2cm. Wd. 14 cm. Dep. 13 cm.
Brief Description Head of a bold headed man having long face. Nose and chin damaged. Dull red clay.
Detailed Description In the conspectus of Akhnoor terracotta's this head stands out for its plain yet striking treatment. The head with a distinct expression represents a realistic portrait of a monk. His innocent looks and plumpy cheeks make him look like a relaxed young monk. A similar, yet slightly larger terracotta head of a middle-aged monk and falling into the tradition of early Roman portraiture of a slightly earlier date is reported to be in a private collection in London. Representations of heads of monks' clean shaven with pierced but empty earlobes appear to be common both in stucco and clay in Taxila during the late Kusana period and seem to have greatly influenced the expressive facial features of the Akhnoor heads.