Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Panel from a Portable Shrine: The Descent of the Buddha from Trayastrimsha Heaven

Date:
7th–8th century
Culture:
India (Jammu and Kashmir, ancient kingdom of Kashmir),
Medium:
Ivory with traces of color
Dimensions:
H. 2 1/2 (6.4 cm); W. 1 3/4 in. (4.5 cm)
Classification:
Ivories
Credit Line:
Purchase, Rogers and Seymour Funds; Margery and Harry Kahn and Mr. and Mrs. Peter Findlay Gifts; Gifts of Albert Ten Eyck Gardner, Florance Waterbury and Jacob Weisman, by exchange; Gift of Mrs. Laurent Oppenheim, in memory of her husband, and Gift of Albert Angell Southwick, in memory of Mrs. Charles Waterbury Clark, by exchange; Bequest of Florance Waterbury, in memory of her father, John I. Waterbury and Bequest of Gilbert H. Montague, in memory of his wife, Amy Angell Collier Montague, by exchange, 1979.
Accession Number:
1979.287
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 237
This diminutive panel depicts the Buddha’s descent from Trayastrimsha heaven, where he visited to preach the Buddhist gospel (dharma) to his mother, who had died soon after his birth. The three steps below his feet indicate the ladder upon which he descended. This miracle was widely depicted in the early Buddhist world. Here, umbrella and flywhisk bearers attend the Buddha, while airborne celebrants present garlands.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Buddhism Along the Silk Road," June 2, 2012–February 10, 2013.

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