- Museum number
- Object: The Great Renunciation.
Rectangular panel showing the Great Renunciation; damaged on the left side.
The Bodhisattva, with both feet pendent, wears a necklace of multiple strands and confronted monster heads at the end of cylindrical terminals with a bead in between. His wife, with her right hand lying free, wears what looks like a narrow band from the left shoulder to the upper right arm and her wreath headdress has a pointed-leaf pattern. On the right a female guard with spear wears a long-sleeved tunic and necklace and stands beside a male figure with necklace and paridhāna. Both now lack faces. Below sits sleeping an attendant with diadem, earrings, necklace, anklets and sleeved tunic over a paridhāna. Another, on a low circular cushion, bare to the waist and with the same ornaments and a broad loop of hair at the back of the head, leans forward over a banded barrel drum. A third, dressed like the first attendant but with a different hairstyle and earrings, rests her head on a vertical banded barrel drum and passes an arm over the legs of another figure seated on a low circular cushion, naked to the waist and seen from the back, wearing a wreath and braided hair; a flower decorates her double anklet. Perhaps another two sleeping attendants, as well as Chandaka and the forepart of Kaṇṭhaka, are accounted for by the damaged left end.
The couch has one pillow and a mattress, and a short patterned textile hanging from it with vertical plain bands separating bands of open flowers or scrolling; it is tucked in between the mattress and the bed frame, indicating that the top of the mattress is covered with a plain sheet. Behind, two slender pillars with moulded capitals support oil-lamps.
A double-framed and tapering column has a worn Corinthian capital and base mouldings as on the preceding piece. Below is a plain framing fillet.
- Production date
Height: 17 centimetres
Weight: 4.20 kilograms
Width: 27.50 centimetres
Depth: 5.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
The figures of this densely spaced composition are modelled with delicate, soft transitions and sharp, clear and detailed cutting of eyes, hair, toes and drapery, and must be closely related to BM 1900.0414.13 (q.v. and for references) and the so-called Buner risers.
The married prince led a life of ease encouraged by his father to keep him from the religious life. When the gods made him see an old and a sick man, a corpse and a religious wanderer, he understood how transient life was and that something better was possible. Repelled one night by his attendants' ungainly attitudes of sleep, he resolved to abandon the world.
The prince is seated beside his sleeping wife; an attendant rests her head on a drum. To the right is a female guard and oil-lamps burn on slender pillars. One of the two abraded figures on the left may be the groom bringing the prince's turban.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2010/11 14 Oct- 3 Apr, London BM, Images and Sacred Texts: Buddhism across Asia
- 1.Green-grey schist, broken and exfoliated.
2.Top and bottom flat and smooth with rectangular tenons to both sides and with mason's guide-lines.
3.Right side rebated behind, left side flat with chisel marks.
4.Back flat, almost smooth with some chisel grooves.
5.Perhaps curved in section.
- Associated events
- Associated Event: Great Renunciation
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Purchased from Dr A. Jukes.
- Registration number