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Stupa Fragment

Object Number:29-64-223
Current Location: Collections Storage
Provenience: Pakistan
Date Made: 2nd century - 3rd century
Early Date: 100
Late Date: 299
Bas Relief
Height: 57.1 cm
Width: 39.9 cm
Credit Line:Alexander Scott Expedition to India, 1915-1918


Grey schist stupa fragment. This beautiful relief from the northwestern region of Gandhara displays three different scenes from top to bottom. At the top stands the Buddha adored by two attendants, while in the center the Buddha is seated as he receives the adoration of four devotees. At the bottom is a fine and characteristic rendering of the 'great passing away' of the Buddha from his earthly existence. Lying on a bed, he is surrounded by his disciples who express the tremendous anguish they feel at the loss of their spiritual leader. To the right of the Buddha's feet is Ananda, his favorite disciple, to whom he has just delivered his last teaching. The Gandhara style is best understood as a provincial expression of the late antique style of Rome. This 'classical' influence is evident in the treatment of the figures, the robes they wear, and in the line of acanthus leaves used to separate the bottom scene from the middle one. Originally, this carved fragment was part of a stone revetment of a Buddhist stupa (reliquary mound) positioned so that worshippers who came to honor the Buddha would see the events of his life and learn of his spiritual accomplishments.

Current & Past Exhibitions:

Buddhism: History and Diversity of a Great Tradition (12 Dec 1985 - 21 Oct 2012) View Objects in Exhibition
Southeast Asian Gallery (1977 - 1987) View Objects in Exhibition
India at the University Museum (31 Mar 1981 - 1987) View Objects in Exhibition
And So the Story Goes… Innovations in Storytelling (25 Apr 2018) View Objects in Exhibition


[Book] Horne, Lee C. 1985. Introduction to the Collections of The University Museum.. Philadelphia. The University Museum. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: 54,Figure 1View Objects related to this Actual Citation

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