Head of Buddha (MO 95.91)

Head of Buddha

Place Made: Hadda, Afghanistan

Date Made: Second century AD

Medium: Stucco, stone, metal

Dimensions: 16 x 6 x 5 in.

Gifter: King of Afghanistan Mohammad Zahir Shah

Gandharan style stucco head of Buddha with wavy hair swept upwards and terminating into an usnisa. The face has arching eyebrows and heavy half-open downcast eyes.   The mask-like face of this, and other Buddhas from Hadda, have a dryness and regularity which suggest that they were made from moulds.  The treatment of the face has a slight reminiscences of a Classical ideal combined with the soft fullness of Indian sculptures of the Gupta period.

This sculpture was presented to President John F. Kennedy on September 5, 1963, by His Majesty Mohammad Zahir Shah, King of Afghanistan during his state visit to the White House.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, MA; accession number MO 95.91

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum