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Sarnath: Scenes from the life of Buddha, 5th Century A.D. Sarnath, Museum,

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CollectionsArthur Llewellyn Basham
Title: Sarnath: Scenes from the life of Buddha, 5th Century A.D. Sarnath, Museum,
Author(s): Photographer: Arthur Llewellyn Basham
Keywords: Gupta Period;Sarnath Architect;stone sculpture;mounted transparency set
Series/Report no.: Basham Collection
Description: Comparable to the carved stone slab in slide seven is the present example, again showing the four major scenes of Buddha's life: Birth, Calling the Earth to Witness, Turning the Wheel of the Law, and Pari-nirvana: with basically the same iconographic details included and only slightly better executed in terms of handling, There seems to be a downward trend in subject matter toward the Later Gupta Period where no new renditions of the now canonized subjects appear, and a growing lack of imagination is evidenced in the compositions, One cannot say that the carving is crude, it is far from that, however, it is not used to its best advantage so that potentially profound subjects became matter-of-fact in their final form, We remember that the stupas at Bharhut and Sanchi, built and embellished before the Kushans, used these same subjects, but with complete success and creativity, The stupa decoration, though, did not have physical representations of Buddha and had to rely on aniconic motifs, which were at once more ambiguous and more rich in expressiveness than those carvings, which do have the physical images of Buddha,
Other Identifiers: ANUA 682-909


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