- Museum number
- Object: The Visit of Indra.
Part of a corner panel with the vestige of one scene and another, complete, showing the Visit of Indra. The haloed and damaged Buddha, in dhyāna, is seated on grass in a deep recess, with gently curved opening, of a mountain, his hands covered and the robe spread out to lie in a straight edge below them. Beneath, a kneeling elephant, with a cloth on its back, holds in its trunk a parasol by the shaft. The mountainside has rounded contours, a damaged lion whose forepaws emerge from a cave and a small tree growing at the top; linear whorls here suggest vegetation, as do the small radiate patches on BM 1880.69, 1917.0501.2 and elsewhere.
On the Buddha's left the three figures are Indra in uttarīya and paridhāna, collar and a turban with a low cylindrical cap, joining his hands, and two others, both with crested turban and half-length, one with hands joined. Balancing them opposite, the harpist Pañcaśikha wears a short paridhāna with a knotted uttarīya round his waist, a high globular chignon with a band at its base above his short curled hair and a necklace; he rests his harp in the crook of his arm and raises his right hand to shoulder level, while two half-length figures behind and above him, one with curled hair and another with a crested turban, are presumably celestials watching. Pañcaśikha is in pronounced relief, his lower legs undercut.
The incomplete scene shows two figures, greatly damaged; the tapering shafts of the framing pilasters have a meditating Buddha on an open-lotus pedestal, the hands covered, below a Corinthian capital in distinct upper and lower parts. The corner pilaster continues onto the side together with the capital and mouldings, but the shaft has an outlined oblong panel with curved top and bottom. Also continued is the cavetto above with its alternating pattern of acanthus lobes, drooping and pointed and erect; the architectural features are all very sharply cut.
- Production date
Diameter: 9 centimetres
Height: 20.40 centimetres
Width: 48.30 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Zwalf 1996:
Sanskrit and Pāli traditions and Chinese pilgrims' accounts tell of the Buddha meditating in the cave of a mountain in Magadha; Indra sent the gandharva Pañcaśikha to him to play on his harp and sing and make him willing to receive Indra and the gods and answer Indra's questions.
- Not on display
- 1.Dark grey schist, broken and exfoliated.
2.Top and bottom flat and smooth where not pitted; top with cramp mortise diagonal to back. 3.Left side carved; right side irregularly broken.
4.Back uneven with some chisel marks, but on left behind mortise the back is smooth for a slab at right angles.
- Associated events
- Associated Event: Visit of Indra
- Acquisition date
- Registration number