Title:Head from an Image of the BuddhaArtist:Artist UnknownDate:Pagan periodCreation Place:Asia, BurmaCredit Line:Gift of funds from Cliff and Sue RobertsAccession Number:92.42
At the great ancient city of Pagan (1044-1287) in central Burma, there are still over two thousand Buddhist monuments scattered across the arid dusty plain. The largely abandonded brick stupas and temples were once lavishly decorated with polychromed stucco moulding and sculpture in what was once one of the wealthiest cities and greatest religious centers of the entire world. Stucco was used with great skill by Pagan sculptors in creating many of the thousands of Buddhist images commissioned by lay followers and the numerous monastic establishements. This sensitively modeled head of the Buddha reflects the meditative calm and somewhat sweet humanistic quality associated with the art of the Pala dynasty of Bengal, India whose Buddhist sculptural traditions had reached Pagan by the eleventh century in two portable mediums, bronze and terracotta.