Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Niche with the Seated Bodhisattva Shakyamuni Flanked by Devotees and an Elephant

ca. 4th–5th century
Afghanistan (Hadda)
H. 16 9/16 in. (42 cm); W. 18 1/4 in. (46.4 cm); D. 10 in. (25.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Walter Burke Gift, and Anonymous Gift, Rogers Fund, and Gift of George D. Pratt, by exchange, 2005
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 236
The lunette embellished the high base of a Buddhist stupa (relic mound) and would have been viewed from below during ritual circumnambulation. Shakyamuni is shown as a bodhisattva wearing the jeweled turban and textiles of a prince. The naturalistic anatomy and the complex classical treatment of interacting devotees seem remarkable given that the relief was sculpted about the fifth century—long after classical traditions in the West had declined.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Pala-Sena Period," 2007.

Related Objects

Head of Buddha

Date: 5th–6th century Medium: Stucco with traces of paint Accession: 30.32.5 On view in:Gallery 236

Head of a Male Figure

Date: 5th century Medium: Stucco with traces of color Accession: 1975.415.3 On view in:Gallery 236

Head of a Male Figure with a Mustache

Date: 4th–5th century Medium: Stucco Accession: 1975.415.1 On view in:Gallery 236

Door Guardian (Dvarapala)

Date: ca. 4th century Medium: Stucco Accession: 1991.132 On view in:Gallery 236

Fragment of an Ivory Comb

Date: 1st–3rd century Medium: Ivory Accession: 2000.284.8 On view in:Gallery 235