Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Head of a Tirthankara, or Jain saviour


    • First floor | Room 32 | India from 600

Objects are sometimes moved to a different location. Our object location data is usually updated on a monthly basis. Contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular object on display, or would like to arrange an appointment to see an object in our reserve collections.


Publications online

  • Indian Art in the Ashmolean Museum by J. C. Harle and Andrew Topsfield

    Indian Art in the Ashmolean Museum

    This detached head, with its exquisitely sensitive modelling, shows to what extent, even in the later Hindu period, tactile values of the highest order can be accommodated within a highly stylised conception. The median parting of the snail curls provides a strong vertical axis, from which the curls, in unusual wave-like patterns, appear to rush away. Perfectly ordered, their rows upon rows suggest nonetheless a rough turbulence which offsets any hint of effeteness in the smooth surfaces of the face below, over which the thin line of the eyebrows appears to wander with a life of its own. The emotional impact of this head, which is powerful, then emanates from the barely adumbrated depressions, even dimples, around the mouth and the lower part of the nose.

    The head was almost certainly part of a stele and most likely had a halo. The pupils of the eyes are indicated by incised lines.

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