Cast in fine brass with a texture not betraying a grain, and the surface smoothened and polished to illumine with gold-like lustre, this art-piece is a representation of the Buddha’s head. The image creates the strange magic of light and shade which their mutually interacting zones effect. Immersed in deep quiescence and unfathomable serenity and endowed with rare divinity this Buddha head adheres to the great classical tradition of the fifth-sixth century Gupta sculptures in its modeling, plasticity and power to sublimate, and to Pala bronzes, in its finish and perfection, that touched all times height in Tibetan art of Buddhist images. The style of face was further refined in Thai-art before it reached back into Indian hands. Thus, a contemporary work, the metal-cast is the product of the ages-old tradition matured by innumerable hands and devotional minds. It is endowed thus with superb sculptural quality and is a masterpiece by any parameters. The craftsman has used in casting the piece the technique and spirit of the finest models of all ages and excellence of all traditions of art and thought and created an art-piece capable of revealing divine serenity and transcending the mind to a world absolutely unlike ours.
The artifact displays tremendous anatomical balance in synthesizing the exterior and the interior and makes the serenity that enshrines it, not the anatomy of a human head, as the metal-cast’s central theme. Conceived to reveal on one hand strange divine aura, and on the other, unique aesthetic beauty, the face, slightly angular for defining a well aligned chin, has been modeled with almond-shaped eyes, though slightly more curved and almost two-third closed as immersed in deep meditation imparting to the face its essential bearing, elegantly arched eye-brows, a well defined straight sharp nose slightly arching in descent, mildly elevated small lips, broad forehead with mark of ‘mani’, the symbol of his attainment of ultimate knowledge, elongated ears with further elongated earlobes with lotus-‘kundalas’ – ear-ornaments, on them, ‘Maulashri’ flowers-like twisted hair and a tuft of them with the ‘mani’ atop, defining ‘Ushnisha’, in the centre, and a well defined neck with three folds : all the characteristic attributes of the classical Buddhist art. ‘Maulashri’ is a large tree covered with thick deep green leaves and buttons-like exceptionally fragrant flowers widely alluded to in Sanskrit literary classics and early Hindi poetry.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books.