A carved stone head of buddha

唐 七世紀晚期或八世紀石雕佛頭像

The head is well-proportioned, with finely carved features. The heavy-lidded eyes are elegantly curved and extended at the outer corners, beneath arched brows each emphasised by a single sweeping incised line following the curvature. The nose is long and straight. The mouth is small, with full bowed lips. Long lobed ears flank the full cheeks, below the hair drawn up into thick waves and curls, centred on a whorl on the forehead and surmounted by an usnisa. The stone is of fine-grained reddish hue.

Bonhams London, 12th May 2022, lot 52
European private collection

Buddhist sculpture of the High Tang period is characterised by a sensuous quality, expressed, as here, in the plump cheeks, full lips and richly curled and whorled hair. While the type of stone used here suggests a different location, the artistic style is heavily influenced by the carvers from Longmen in Henan.

For a comparable example of a carving of a head of Buddha, excavated from the Fengxian Temple, Longmen, in 2000, see 洛陽石刻擷英 “Selected Outstanding Stone Carvings from Longmen”, p.13, no.16.

Dimensions: Height: 17 cm, 6¾ inches

Date: Tang dynasty (618-906), late 7th or 8th century

Stock No. 2366

Price: On Request