Female head with headdressOn display
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Female head with headdress
Date1st half of the 6th century AD
Gupta Period (AD 320 - 600)
Material and technique
Dimensions16 x 10 x 8.5 cm max. (height x width x depth)
with mount 23.5 x 10 x 8.5 cm max. (height x width x depth)
No. of items
Presented by The Honourable Penelope Chetwode, 1961.
Museum locationGround floor | Gallery 12 | India to AD 600
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Only the head remains of what was once a complete female figure in very high relief, probably part of a group. The face with its almond-shaped eyes and fleshy lips has the sensual calm, combined with a certain hard-edged quality, of Mathura Buddhas of c.450 A.D. except that the gaze is not downcast, with the consequent exaggeration of the upper lid. The headdress, on the other hand, belongs to the very end of the Gupta period (c.320-550 A.D.) or even the outset of the post-Gupta, as does the right ear-ring, its “bar” already taking the form of a little baluster.
In: Harle, J. C., and Andrew Topsfield, Indian Art in the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 1987)
Harle, J. C., and Andrew Topsfield, Indian Art in the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 1987), no. 30 on p. 23, p. 49, illus. p. 23
Ahuja, Naman, Art and Archaeology of Ancient India: Earliest Times to the Sixth Century (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2018), no. 116