Art/ Collection/ Art Object

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

Kushan period
ca. 2nd century
Pakistan (ancient region of Gandhara)
H. 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm); W. 7 5/8 in. (19.4 cm); D. 1 7/8 in. (4.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Marie-Hélène and Guy Weill, 1976
Accession Number:
Not on view
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.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Pala-Sena Period," 2007.

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