23 September 2020
Terms and Conditions
A GREEN SCHIST RELIEF DEPICTING THE PARINIRVANA
ANCIENT REGION OF GANDHARA, PROBABLY SWAT VALLEY, 2ND-4TH CENTURY CE
6 3/8 in. (16.2 cm.) high; 13 3/8 in. (34 cm.) wide
Private collection, Europe by, 1988.
Important private collection, Japan, by 1990.
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I. Kurita, Gandharan Art, vol. I, Tokyo, 1988, p. 246, fig. 491.
The present relief depicts the moment when the Buddha leaves his material body and escapes from the cycle of rebirths into nirvana. The scene is characterized by the juxtaposition of the states of grief and peace—the anguish of the mourners to the left against the serenity of the Buddha’s material body and the seated figure at right. Compare the present relief with a depiction in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (acc. no. 2015.500.4.1); in the example at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the seated figure has been identified as the monk Subhadra, reassured in his knowledge of the Buddha’s achievement of nirvana. Along with many of the other reliefs offered from this collection, this would have been installed on a stupa as an element of a decorative scheme illustrating the life stories of the Buddha.
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