Published: P Pal, Light of Asia, Buddha Sakyamuni in Asian Art, Los Angeles Museum of Art, 1984, no 71 J Guy, Indian Temple Sculpture, V&A, 2007, pg 27
Guy, John. ‘Indian Temple Sculpture’, London : V&A Publications, 2007. p.27. pl.22. ISBN 9781851775095
Relief depicting veneration of the empty throne, sandstone, Mathura, northern India, 2nd-3rd century
Width: 22 cm, Height: 33 cm, Width: 9 cm
Presented by Dr Turton in 1883
Veneration of the Empty Throne. This relief, which is contemporary with many Buddha images, provides a symbolic presence for the Buddha only. The empty throne has a disc on it, most convincingly interpreted as a solar disc (radiant) symbol of the Buddha.
A red sandstone carving depicting the adoration of the empty throne. A representation of a niche having a column with winged-lion capital on each side, and enclosing a couch or throne and footstool. A Buddhist emblem, probably the Dharma Chakra or Wheel of the Law, is shown on the throne, and two human faces with ornamental head-dresses appear above the back. Below is a Buddhist rail and at each of the two bottom corners, the capital of a pillar.
This red sandstone carving probably once formed part of a temple or shrine. It depicts the adoration of the empty throne, with a Buddhist emblem on it. The emblem can be variously interpreted as a throne cushion, a discarded turban headdress or a 'dharmachakra' ('wheel of law') symbol.
Early Buddhist artists were reluctant to represent the Buddha in human form. They preferred to indicate his presence symbolically. This relief indicates the Buddha's presence through an empty throne, attended by two attendants bearing fly-whisks, emblems of a world sovereign (‘cakravartin’), and flanked by winged-lion capitals.