late 2nd- early 3rd century AD
21, Ground Floor,
Related Objects in the Ashmolean Museum:
1. Birth and Death of the Buddha, relief panels,
Gandhara 2nd-3rd century AD (OS 3, 10) To the right of the Object of the Month
Narrative relief panels relating the legend of the Buddha were placed
along the base of a stupa (memorial monument) or temple. With the
introduction of the human image, sculptors began to portray events
which had been impossible to sculpt when the Buddha’s presence was
indicated by emblems and motifs.
The Birth of the Buddha, (pictured right) depicts the infant
Buddha being born miraculously from the side of his mother, surrounded
by maidservants and deities in an attitude of veneration.
The Death of the Buddha (or Mahaparanivarna) shows the
Buddha reclining on his side, entering Nirvana surrounded by grieving
monks and disciples.
Standing Under the Bodhi Tree, Bodhgaya (Eastern India) 9th-10th
(O.S. 56) Gallery 22, Indian Gallery (other side of the wall from the Object
of the Month)
This stone sculpture (pictured right) shows the Buddha standing
under the Tree of Enlightenment when he attained Perfect Knowledge.
Randolph Sculpture Gallery (The long gallery by the entrance ot the Museum)
The sculptures in this Gallery are original Graeco-Roman pieces dating
from about the same time as the Object of the Month. Compare the treatment
of the robes with that of the schist standing Buddha.