VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Mahapurusha
SMV Mu 205
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

In former times this relief was described as Kapardin Buddha, but according to recent research, it is probably a representation of a so called Mahapurusha (an abstract ideal being, a world ruler cakravartin) as well as a Buddha. In comparison with similar pieces of this early time this figure has very fine facial features. The friendly smile and the wide open eyes convey a feeling of a being open to the world, that is in contrast to later representations of the Buddha. The right hand seems to be lifted in a gesture of welcome and invitation.

History of the Object
Purchased by Lucian Scherman, the former director of our museum, during his journey to South Asia in 1910/11.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
red sandstone 
Measurements
Width 79 cm Height 68 cm  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
India; Mathura 
Geography
India 
Time period
AD 2nd century ~ AD 2nd century 
Creation date
2nd Century 
Function
Relief from a Buddhist temple 
Acquisition
Purchased in India in 1912. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
State property, Germany 
Museum
Five Continents Museum, Munich 
Credit line
State Museum of Ethnography, Munich, Germany 

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