Relief showing Buddha protected by Mucilinda, grey schist, 2nd century AD, Gandhara.
Height: 6.5 in, Width: 10 in
Bequest from Langford Jones. At the time of the collection's acquisition his daughter, Mrs K. Baker, wrote, 'All I know is that my father who was a Justice of the High Court of Calcutta from 1864-1876 travelled all about India and picked up relics. These carvings were from North West India bordering on Kashmir, I believe, from ruins of an old temple'.
A damaged Gandharan relief panel in green schist with a similar representation of Buddha being sheltered by the coils of Muchalinda was lot 15 in Bonham's sale of Indian, Himalayan and Southern Asian Art, in New York, 18 March 2013.
This panel has been identified by Ackermann as depicting the story of the Naga King, Mucilinda, who protects the meditating Buddha after his Enlightenment for seven days against a raging tempest. Ackermann claims that this is the first example of the depiction of this scene to have been discovered in Gandharan art.
This formerly rectangular panel has a diagonal break from the top left hand corner through to the middle of the lower edge, so that a quarter of the narrative scene is missing. The scene is carved against a flat back slab without any framing. On the right hand side there is a figure entirely wrapped in snake coils with only his head visible under the spreading hood of the snake's seven hoods. On either side further snakes have risen up with their heads looping downwards. On the left hand side the upper part of a monk is seen turning to his right. Behind his head there is a horizontally ribbed rectangular object and a series of roughly radiating scored lines, possibly denoting rain. In the extreme upper left hand corner there can be seen the remnants of a doorway or window out of which appears the top half of a head with a flattened ushnisha on top