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Column from a Buddhist Stupa

Column from a Buddhist Stupa, 1st century

India: Uttar Pradesh, Mathura, 0-99
91 x 8-5/8 x 8-3/4 in. (231.1 x 21.9 x 22.2 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
© The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

This column is carved with scenes on two sides, suggesting that it was used as a corner post in a railing or gateway of a Buddhist monument. Of the eight low-relief panels, the lower six depict couples with floral offerings. The top right panel contains a knot of serpents in front of a stupa, a hemispherical funerary mound symbolic of the Buddha as well as the cosmic mountain. The top left panel features an empty bed strewn with flowers, representing Buddha Shakyamuni's death, or great release from the physical world (mahaparinirvana), as witnessed by two of his disciples.

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