Greek Style Head of a Satyr from Central Asia, with influence from Ghandhara, Circa 200 - 100 BC

The expressive face of this satyr reveals a right eye that is slightly lower than the left and a smirk carved purposefully askew. The satyr himself may be of Greek origin, yet this piece hails from central Asia, a result of the clash of cultures that arose out of Alexander the Great’s successful campaigns throughout the region. The result was a vast melting pot of culture, art and religion that spanned the subsequent Hellenistic era of Greek history, when Greek cultural influence and power was at its zenith in Europe and Asia. At the time, this satyr’s inlaid eyes and simple braided crown were uncommon in Asian art, particularly seen in Buddhist sculptures of Siddhartha from the Gandhara region of northern Pakistan. Other examples include the famous Parthian relief from Hatra, as well as the hair and head of the Peshawar Museum’s Bodhisattva. In the years after Alexander’s conquests, the region’s sculpture incorporated such elements in the intervening years as trade and technology increased the mingling of Eastern and Western cultures, creating new currents of art and thought that still inspire us to this day.