No Title

2006at4645 jpg l

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Acquired in 1945 (the spelunker thinks)

artist
Unknown
attributions_note
bibliography
collection_code
SSEA
credit
date_end
0250-12-31
date_start
0200-01-01
date_text
early 3rd century (made)
descriptive_line
Relief with vertical scenes from the life of Buddha, grey schist, 3rd century AD, Gandhara.
dimensions
Height: 0.615 m, Length: 0.32 m
edition_number
event_text
exhibition_history
gallery
historical_context_note
historical_significance
history_note
id
67055
label
last_checked
2014-08-29T23:44:40.000Z
last_processed
2014-08-29T23:44:40.000Z
latitude
30.441851
location
In Storage
longitude
69.359703
marks
materials
schist
materials_techniques
Grey schist
museum_number
IS.1-1945
museum_number_token
is11945
object_number
O96246
object_type
Relief
on_display
original_currency
original_price
physical_description
This relief is divided vertically in two zones, each containing three parts. On the right there are three narrative scenes from the life of the Buddha, on the left, niches with standing Buddha figures. The top of the relief has been broken off and there is some damage along the edges and on the corners. The slab has two projecting tenons on the lower edge, carved as fixings to a stupa. The slab has a rounded moulding of inverted pointed leaves on the left hand side and a vertical frieze of acanthus leaves within a plain fillet on the right. A further vertical fillet with lotus petals divides the standing figures from the figurative scenes which are shown on horizontal ledges decorated with a zig-zag motif that is badly damaged at the lower edge and at the top. The lower two scenes are reasonably well preserved, but the figures in the one at the top have nearly all lost their heads. In the lowest scene on the right the Buddha stands before a small altar in front of a man in military dress clasping a spear, who is pointing out a small boy tied to a tree shown with a branch of upturned leaves. The smaller figure of Vajrapani, supporting his thunderbolt in his left hand while holding up a pole capped with a dharma-chakra ( the wheel of law), stands to the left of Buddha. In the top left hand corner above Vajrapani there is a couple of smiling onlookers. Indeed all the figures are smiling except for the boy whose mouth is carved into a grimace. The Buddha appears to be laying a lotus flower on the altar with has a cushioned top surmounting a short rounded shaft rising from a square base decorated with a roundel. The scene may represent the conversion of the Yaksha Atavika. The story relates how Atavika had threatened to kill a certain king unless he sent on a daily basis one of his subjects to be eaten. Eventually the king was forced to send his young son, but fortunately the Buddha intervened and, by answering all the Yaksha's questions so wisely, the latter became converted and handed over the boy. The couple in the relief are presumably the boy's parents, either the king and queen or a rich merchant and his wife depending on the source of the story. The latter may be the case in this instance as the couple show no royal attributes. The middle scene may, according to Ackermann, represent the conversion of Ugrasena, but a fragmentary scene of the Buddha and a drummer at the British Museum (OA 1880-103) is described by Zwalf as probably a representation of the 'Entry of Buddha into Rajagrha', an event which occurred shortly after his Enlightenment. The scene shows the Buddha, who towers over all the other figures, raising his hand in the abbaya mudra looking down at a man carrying a tambour across his body, while looking over his shoulder at him. The man to the right of the Buddha is Vajrapani. He holds his thunderbolt in his left hand while he raises his right to his face while looking over his shoulder towards a man in monk's robes with an ushnisha. A row of a further four figures shown from their waists upwards is carved in an upper register. The two figures on the right appear to be in conversation and hold unidentified objects in their hands. The upper scene has not been attributed to any particular scene in the life of the Buddha. It shows him in abhaya mudra towering, as in the other scenes, over the other figures. The man to the left of the Buddha, who retains his head, appears to be holding some sort of pot or a bag with a handle. Behind him a turbaned man holds high a short sword, the other upper figures remain now only as outlines due to damage. Below a faceless monk stands next to the Buddha, adjacent to a man, who may be identified as Hercules, as he is dressed only in a loin cloth with a hanger round his hips supporting a sword sheath ( but not the usual club). The three standing Buddhas on the left hand side of the relief stand on oval plinths under canopies with stylised pendant grapes on either side. They are all shown in similar frontal stances with their arms placed in different poses. All the Buddhas in the relief have plain circular aureoles and oval faces with their hair carved in ridges of small sickle-like curls rising to similarly braided ushnishas. The men who are not wearing turbans in the various scenes all have similar distinctive hairstyles. They have a band of vertical lobes round their hairlines with the hair scraped back in ridges up to a top-knot. The eyes of all the figures are narrow and slanted, set within round faces with small v-shaped mouths. Ackermann suggests that the figures are reminiscent of Kashmiri work, but the hairstyle of the Buddhas with their sickle-shaped curls can be seen in a number of later Gandharan works, especially when worked in stucco.
place
Pakistan
primary_image_id
2006AT4645
production_note
production_type
public_access_description
related_museum_numbers
rights
3
shape
site_code
slug
relief-unknown
sys_updated
2014-06-20T00:00:00.000Z
techniques
hand carved
title
updated
vanda_exhibition_history
year_end
250
year_start
200