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An image of Head of Buddha by


Head of Buddha
Place of origin
Media category
Materials used
sandstone with plaster and pigments

30.0 x 18.0 x 16.0 cm

Edward and Goldie Sternberg Southeast Asian Art Fund 2007
Accession number
Upper Asian gallery
Further information

This Buddha head displays the characteristics of the Mandalay style. This type emerged in Myanmar in the second half of the nineteenth century, and continues to be used with only minor variations today. The main elements are a large, rounded 'ushnisha' (cranial bump representing wisdom), a broad band separating the face from the hair, a wide mouth (although the lips here are thinner than on other Mandalay style images), slightly arched eyebrows that connect with the wide nose. The ends of the elongated ears, a result of the heavy earrings worn during his life as a prince, are broken. They would have once had rounded ends that rested on the Buddha’s shoulders. The narrow, downward-gazing eyes are also typical of Mandalay period Buddha images and demonstrate the Buddha’s contemplative state of mind.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, October 2011.

Exhibition history (2)

The connoisseur and the philanthropist: 30 years of the Sternberg Collection of Chinese Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 31 Jan 2014–27 Apr 2014

Conversations through the Asian collections, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Oct 2014–05 Sep 2015