The Buddha head from Taxila in the Gandhara region, now in Pakistan, dates back to the second century CE and belongs to the Kushana Period. The image shows hybridized pictorial conventions that developed during the Gandhara period. It has Greco-Roman elements in the treatment of sculpture.
The Buddha’s head has typical Hellenistic elements that have grown over a period of time. The curly hair of the Buddha is thick having a covered layer of sharp and linear strokes over the head. The forehead plane is large having protruding eyeballs, the eyes are half-closed and the face and cheeks are not round like the images found in other parts of India.
There is a certain amount of heaviness in the figures of the Gandhara region. The ears are elongated especially the earlobes. The treatment of the form bears linearity and the outlines are sharp. The surface is smooth. The image is very expressive.
The interplay of light and dark is given considerable attention by using the curving and protruding planes of the eye socket and the planes of the nose. The expression of calmness is the center point of attraction. Modeling of the face enhances the naturalism of three-dimensionality. Assimilating various traits of Acamenian, Parthian, and Bactrian traditions into the local tradition is a hallmark of the Gandhara style.
The Gandhara images have physiognomic features of the Greco-Roman tradition but they display a very distinct way of treating physiognomic details that are not completely Greco-Roman. The source of development of Buddha images as well as others has its genesis in its peculiar geopolitical conditions. It may also be observed that the north-western part of India, which is now Pakistan, always had continuous habitation from proto-historic times. It continued in the historical period as well.
A large number of images have been found in the Gandhara region. They consist of narratives of the life of the Buddha, narrations from the Jataka stories, and Buddha and Boddhisattva images.