A relief panel with scenes from the life of Buddha
Ancient Region of Gandhara, 2nd/3rd century
Separated by a central column with acanthus-leaf capital and a gana (dwarf) standing on a lotus pedestal, the relief depicts two narratives from the life of Buddha. On the left side, the pensive Bodhisattva, wearing royal tunics and a crested turban, sits under the shade of a canopy lost in meditation with his right arm supporting his forehead. A member of the court prostrates before him, whilst two broad-bodied attendants with sweet expressions tend to the royal parasols. On the right, enthroned under a textile canopy supported by slender shafts rising from two lion capitals, and wearing his hair bound in a small double loop, the Bodhisattva is seen in discussion with the surrounding figures seated on tiered thrones, the figures to his left raise their right hands in a gesture of discussion, the figures to his right clasp their hands in adoration or entreaty. The Bodhisattva, holding a flask in his left hand resting in his lap, raises his right in the gesture of reassurance.
9 x 27 in. (22.9 x 68.25 cm)