Stone relief from Gandhara

Object number
Object: Stone relief from Gandhara

Material: Grey stone, shist.

Period: 2nd century AD to 3rd century AD.

Description:    Rectangular flat stone with coarsly worked rear side and finely worked front side displaying a relief. It shows a scene between two columns. Buddha is riding on horseback, one attendant kneeling and one standing before him, a third attendant visible behind the horse.
The piece examplifies the curious symbiosis of Greek art with Buddhist traditions that developed after Alexander the Great conquered the former Persian province of Gandhara.

Background: What we see is a well known episode from Buddhas early life, when he was still known as prince Siddhartha. The young prince steals himself away from his family to seek enlightenment. The columns are hinting to the setting, the family's palace in the city of Kapilavastu. Siddhartha rides his white horse Kanthaka, but needs to be quiet. So the man before the horse rests its hoofs on his shoulders. This is a key moment in Buddhas life. He vows to not return until he has found the answers he is looking for.

Dimensions: 30.2cm width. 18.6cm height, approx. 6cm depth without mount. 21.6cm height with mount.

Condition: The relief was once part of a larger architectural ensemble. The relief itself in very good condition. Some chips, especially along the rim. They nicely emphasize the age of the piece and don't disturb the overall condition. Two faces and one hand were missing and have been added. The stone is mounted on a metal base by two metal pins.

Provenance: Acquired by us in 2021 on the Paris art market, France. Previously in the french private collection Dr. Bernard Coiffu (1927-2021), collection no. 117. Acquired by him on 5 March 1976 at the gallery Mythes et Légendes in Paris, France.
This object has been searched for in the database of Art Loss, comprising more than 500.000 objects claimed stolen or lost. It also integrates the databases of Interpol and FBI. An Art Loss certificate comes with this artefact.

References: Cf. Victoria & Albert Museum, acc. no. IM.30-1935.

Authenticity: We unconditionally guarantee the authenticity of every artefact, all items are subject to our lifetime return policy on authenticity.