Embroidery from India and Pakistan, £10.99
Height: 195.000 cm
Asia OA 1872.7-1.30
Stone relief of the Crowned Buddha
From eastern India, 11th-12th century AD
The Buddha as a universal sovereign
This stone relief was discovered at Bodh Gaya,
the location of the Buddha's enlightenment. The Buddha
stands at the centre. His right hand is in the gesture of charity
(varadamudra), while his
left holds the edge of the robes that cover his whole body. Smaller
The Buddha is here crowned and ornamented with earrings and a necklace. Crowned Buddhas were popular in eastern India from the tenth century. They are a reminder of his early life as a prince, but more importantly emphasize the Buddha's role as a universal sovereign. Crowned Buddhas also appear in the art of regions influenced by eastern India, such as Burma.
At the base of this relief is a small image of a prostrate donor figure. A damaged inscription names a donor 'desirous of release from the ocean of existence'.
W. Zwalf (ed.), Buddhism: art and faith (London, The British Museum Press, 1985)