A ‘Life of Buddha’ stone frieze
Pala, 10th century, India
Height: 73 cm, 28.7 inches
The Stele depicts a synoptic representation of the principal events from the life of the Buddha Shakyamuni, popular during the Pala period. The reliefs depict historical events, though their narrative intent is minimal. They show from the Buddha’s birth, to his final extinction. As is usual, the large central figure with right hand extended in the earth touching position is depicting his Enlightenment at Bodhgaya. However, the representation also emphasizes his transcendental nature indicated by halo and crown.
Leaves from the Bodhi Tree: The Art of Pala India (8th-12th centuries) and Its International Legacy’, Susan L. Huntington and John C. Huntington, published by The Dayton Art Institute in Association with the University of Washington Press, Seattle and London, 1990 – plate no. 15. ‘Buddha’ Radiant Awakening, Art Gallery of New South Wales – pages 50, 51, 52, 53, 60 & 61.