Head of a ram

This terracotta is modeled in the shape of a ram’s head. The snout is softly modeled by hand and his two horns form coils to either side of his head. A decorative band with punch-marked floral decoration on it divides the snout from the area of the head with the spiral horns. The horns are decorated with lines and encircle a donut shaped element in the center. A floral motif is between the two above the decorative band and other punch-marked floral forms decorate his snout at the top and at each cheek. His eyes are incised in a diamond pattern with a circular center and his nostrils are simple indentations.
Artist Unknown, India, Bengal
1st century
Throughout the history of Indian art, animal figures were often depicted with a sense of naturalism, as seen here. With very simple means the artist has given us a convincing figure of a ram’s head. He has modeled the clay by hand, using a sharp tool to punch decorations, much as one would stamp designs into leather.
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Leo S. Figiel and Dr. and Mrs. Steven J. Figiel
1980/2.283
Sunday, August 14, 2022