- Museum number
Panel showing the Death of the Buddha.
The Buddha is here more frontal than in the preceding piece, his feet are covered and his right knee is flexed forward; his robe, over both shoulders and covering his left hand, has regular curving and rounded ridges for drapery folds. The wavy hair continues into the uṣṇīṣa. His face is long and oval; the lids of the closed eyes meet in a slit. Under his right hand is a full pillow with a bobble, the side of the mattress has an undulating groove and a textile hangs between the turned legs with a wide pleat in the middle.
In front of the couch a monk, perhaps Ānanda, his right shoulder bare, supports himself on the ground with one hand and stretches out the other. Beside him, turned almost in profile, an apparently meditating figure, presumably Subhadra, with wrapped head and both shoulders covered, corresponds to the seated frontal figure in the same position in BM 1889.0715.9. The monk at the head of the bed, Anuruddha, with a bare right shoulder, visible undergarment and concerned expression, the tonsure lacking a hairline, advances towards Ānanda and probably extended an undercut arm now missing; his left arm is flexed indistinctly with the hand to, or above, the shoulder. Beside him Vajrapāṇi, a grieving old man with a broad chest, raises one arm over and across his head, which is turned away from the Buddha. He wears a short paridhāna and his uttarīya knotted as a thick scarf over his thighs, and his legs are undercut. His face is distinctly, almost finely, featured and two rows of curls over his lined forehead cover an otherwise bald head. The faceted vajra in his left hand lies against his shoulder. Above Vajrapāṇi is a tree with evenly paired leaves on the narrow curving branches and above the monk a mourner, both arms raised and ornamented, notably with armlets beside the shoulder, and wearing a small chignon and an uttarīya, looks on in grief.
Behind the Buddha is a damaged figure on rather a larger scale than the others. He has a broad flat chest under a large damaged head with earrings and short curls dramatically thrown back; he brings his undercut arms, with armlets just beside the shoulders, together behind his head; his eyes are long, open and set above high cheek-bones. To his left two figures, ornamented and with uttarīya, one with a high crested turban, the other with arms folded and possibly a chignon over a short hairstyle with a curled border, appear to be in conversation; another figure, in particular relief, turbaned and ornamented and with a grief-stricken face, brings one hand to the side of his head. Behind them are damaged half-length figures. On the flowering tree with narrowing trunk the lower branches are undercut.
Below the tree two figures converse: a monk almost in profile, right shoulder bare and an undergarment visible above undercut legs, a small 'embonpoint' below a broken arm, faces another figure with his right hand lifted, an undergarment also visible but his over-robe, which leaves the right shoulder bare, covering the gently inclined head, the backthrow passing round the neck. In the figure with a draped head and usually a bundle of sticks and talking with a monk in scenes of the Death cycle Foucher supposed that an ascetic of the tridaṇḍa-carrying order had replaced, in announcing the Buddha's death to Mahākāśyapa, the naked ājīvika of the piece in the previous catalogue entry, but in certain scenes learning of the circumstances before meeting Mahākāśyapa. For the monastic figures see also BM 1899.0715.9.
- Production date
Diameter: 8.40 centimetres
Height: 23.80 centimetres
Width: 35 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Zwalf 1996:
This panel contrasts with BM 1899.0715.9 in detail and delicacy, rounded cutting, composition and proportions.
The damaged figure behind the Buddha is perhaps a deity; other instances of a mourner, of large and energetic appearance, are seen elsewhere and also behind the bed among the gesturing Mallas or deities. On Peshawar 2084 a central figure with similar gesture has whiskers and an unusual headdress (turban). On Lahore 1037 a prominent central figure is the yakṣa Vajrapāṇi, but the corresponding figure on Peshawar 775 has a turban and an uttarīya. For the size of the head see the same feature on Swat Butkara 2892 (Faccenna-Taddei, 1962-4: II, pl. CDXIII) where, under the Bodhisattva's horse and between its hind legs, a yakṣa has a huge head, voluminous hair and moustache; and if this is an albeit occasional feature of a yakṣa, perhaps the figure here is another example.
- Not on display
- 1.Grey schist, chipped and with small losses.
2.Top, bottom and both sides flat and pitted; back partly with vertical chisel grooves.
3.Mason's mark in middle of framing fillet below.
- Acquisition date
- Registration number