VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Buddha of the Great Miracle
MG 17478
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Faithful to the textual tradition of the Diviya-Avadana, the stele portrays in realistic manner one of the episodes of the “Great Miracle of Sravasti”, in which the Buddha shows his might before the assembly of schismatic masters – flames issuing forth from his shoulders, water pouring from his feet. This high relief exemplifies the art of Kapisa, the Begram area at the north of Kabul, with the emphasis placed on the monumentality of the Buddhist figure, which in Hackin’s eyes provides the prototype of the images from Bamiyan.

History of the Object
Joseph Hackin excavation, 1924 (French Archaeological Delegation in Afghanistan). Buddhist foundation at the north of Kabul, Begram area. Echo of one relief found ten years earlier, now in the Museum für Indische Kunst, Berlin. When it was discovered, Joseph Hackin wrote: “It seemed as though it were new and gilded; the face, the first part to be dug out, glinted in the setting sun. It was the beautiful golden light that adorns the image of the Blessed One in the legend. But the marvel faded, for very rapidly, the gold leaf vanished, it flaked off. There was rushing all around us, the Mullah hurried to our assistance”.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Schist 
Measurements
Width 45 cm. Length 81 cm.  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Afghanistan 
Geography
Afghanistan 
Time period
AD 3rd century ~ AD 3rd century 
Creation date
3rd Century 
Function
Décor of a Buddhist Foundation, Païtava 
Acquisition
French excavation in 1924 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
State property, France 
Museum
Musée National des arts asiatiques Guimet 
Credit line
 

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