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On display on Level 1

Gandharan region, Afghanistan or Pakistan

Stupa gable 2nd century BCE - 3rd century CE Description: with two images of the Buddha in the upper registers, and a scene from the Dipankara Jataka tale of a previous life of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni
Creation Notes: Kushan period (2nd century BCE-3rd century CE)
Materials & Technique: sculptures, grey schist stone, with traces of pigment and gold grey schist, with traces of pigment and gold
Primary Insc: base inscribed in Kharoshti script 'of dharma buddha'
Dimensions: 80.6 h x 41.5 w x 8.5 d cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1989
Accession No: NGA 89.345
  • The supplied chain of ownership for this object is being reviewed and further research is underway. The provenance information listed has been substantiated by documentation. Details may be refined and updated as research progresses.
  • with Julian Sherrier, 1970 or before
  • who sold it to art dealership Spink, London, c 1974
  • which sold it to a private collector, c 1974 (to be confirmed)
  • who sold it to another private collector (to be confirmed)
  • with art dealer Klaus Naumann, Tokyo
  • who sold it to the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 1989 for USD 85,000

The Kushanas invaded India from central Asia and ruled the north-west of the Indian subcontinent during the first three centuries of the present era. One style of Kushana art, named after the region of Gandhara, was heavily influenced by the classical models of Greek art. This 'false gable' in Gandharan style was attached to a stupa, a dome erected to house Buddhist relics. Two upper registers show seated figures of the Buddha in meditation, while the lower register incorporates a standing Buddha in a scene based on a Jataka story about one of his previous lives.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label