Gandharan Buddhist Painted Stone Panel

SKU AM.0228
Circa

100 AD to 400 AD

Dimensions

16.75″ (42.5cm) high x 19″ (48.3cm) wide

Medium

Stone

Gallery Location

UK


 

This delicate painting depicts an episode from the life of the Buddha. Devadatta, the Buddha’s cousin, had long been jealous of his relative’s success. Towards the end of the Buddha’s life he asked to take over the Order but was refused. Rather than accept the Buddha’s decision, Devadatta plotted various ways by which the Buddha might meet a fatal accident. In the city of Rajagraha, he bribed some workmen to let loose a sick elephant who charged towards the Buddha in a fit of rage. This panel depicts the moment just after the elephant is miraculously tamed by the Buddha, who places his right hand on the animal’s forehead. A monk stands to the right of the Buddha, and above four women with clasped hands watch the miracle occur from a balcony.

This panel is a fragment which may once have adorned a monastic complex. It would certainly have been part of a larger narrative series depicting other scenes from the life of the Buddha. Although the colours of the mineral pigments have faded over time, the quality of the draftsmanship is still apparent.

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