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The Dream of Queen Maya (the Buddha's Conception)

Period:
Kushan period
Date:
ca. 2nd century
Culture:
Pakistan (ancient region of Gandhara)
Medium:
Schist
Dimensions:
H. 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm); W. 7 5/8 in. (19.4 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Gift of Marie-Hélène and Guy Weill, 1976
Accession Number:
1976.402
  • Description

    Female attendants and guards, one of whom holds a sword, surround Maya, who is sleeping on a bed that has turned legs and is covered with an elegant floral textile. Maya dreams of a six-tusked elephant that descends from heaven to enter her womb through her right side; originally a small elephant would have been depicted in the broken central disk. This miraculous conception marks the Buddha Shakyamuni's final rebirth and physical entrance into this world.

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
38117

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