VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Buddha with Six Disciples(Avalokiteswara)
Acc no - M.iii.003 (99/1/44)
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This piece has been created showing influences of Indian and Gandharan artistery, Hellenistic execution/portrayal and great simplicity to communicate the story of Buddha to a lay-person.

History of the Object
Wall paintings on Buddha and Buddhist themes are found in many caves in Central Asia as Buddhism became a very important religion in many parts of Central Asia, China, countries of Eastern Asia and South Asia. This is an exquisitely carved wooden panel where the artist has tried to infuse some elements from silk- paintings from Central Asia. The fragment of the wooden panel is showing the Buddha seated on the lotus throne in the posture of Vajrasana and hands in Vyakhyana Mudra (gesture of explanation). On his right, Avalokitesvara is standing on a lotus stand. His right hand is in Abhaya Mudra(gesture of reassurance and safety). He is seen holding a vase filed with the eternal Liquid or Amrit (amrtakalasa). The left portion of the panel is missing and the figures show a Gandharan element in their carving.

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Type
Painting 
Materials
Clay, paints, husk etc. 
Measurements
57.2 x 100.2cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Miran 
Geography
Xinjiang, China 
Time period
AD 3rd century ~ AD 4th century 
Creation date
3rd - 4th century C.E. 
Function
This Painting was used for religious purposes to educate the followers of Buddhism about the life and teachings of Buddha and how he transformed the life of people around him which is also reflected in Jataka stories of his life.  
Acquisition
Sir Aurel Stein collected it during one of his explorations in Central Asian region. He explored the region in the expeditions of 1900–1901, 1906–1908 and1913–1916. The object was housed earlier in the Central Asian Antiquities Museum under Archaeological Survey of India till 1958. Then it was transferred to National Museum, New Delhi.  
Copyright
National Museum, New Delhi 
Acknowledgements
National Museum, New Delhi 
Owner
National Museum, New Delhi 
Museum
National Museum-New Delhi 
Credit line
National Museum, New Delhi 

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