23 September 2020
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A GRAY SCHIST RELIEF DEPICTING THE GREAT DEPARTURE
ANCIENT REGION OF GANDHARA, 3RD-4TH CENTURY CE
7 7/8 in. (20 cm.) high; 10 5/8 in. (27.1 cm.) wide
Private collection, Japan, by 1988.
Important private collection, Japan, by 1990.
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I. Kurita, Gandharan Art, vol. I, Tokyo, 1988, p. 82, fig.146.
The present scene marks the departure of Siddhartha from Kapilavastu and the renunciation of his princely life, embarking on his journey towards enlightenment. Yakshas support Kanthaka's hooves so that no noise can be heard by the guards in the early hours of the morning when he departs. Narrative panels such as the present work were often affixed to the cylindrical drums or rectangular plinths of stupas and could thus be read sequentially in the ritual process of circumambulation. Other reliefs were also placed in false gables on the front and the mid-section of a stupa.
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