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  • Place of origin:

    Swat Valley (made)

  • Date:

    3rd century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Grey schist

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased from H.C.Fanshawe, Esq. C.S.I.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

The relief is divided by broad Corinthian pilasters. On the first scene on the right we see standing Buddha with monks and laymen flocking around him. His right hand is raised in abhayamudra. His head is turned towards a monk approaching him from the left, and carrying a seat with turned legs. The monk is followed by a second one, with a jug in his hands.- we may assume that this is preparations for the Buddha's First Sermon in the Deer Park of Sarnath. On the Buddha's left stands Vajrapani holding a thunderbolt in his right hand, and clasping the hilt of his sword with his raised left hand.
The scene on the left shows sermon of the Buddha in the midst of his monks and other listeners. The Buddha is seated in abhayamudra on a high cushion-covered socle, the front part is damaged. One can recognize the two gazelles in the relief which depicts the Buddha's First Sermon. On the right and on the left a branch of the Bodhi tree grows out of the background. In the foreground, at each side of the Buddha, on low bases two monks sit in meditation. Between the two, in the background the upper half of the body of third monk : thus five monks are represented who traditionally listened to his First Sermon.

Place of Origin

Swat Valley (made)


3rd century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Grey schist


Height: 21.5 in

Descriptive line

Relief showing scenes from the First Sermon, 3rd Century AD, Swat valley grey schist.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

p. 130/2, pl. LVIIIa
Ackermann, Hans Christoph. Narrative Stone Reliefs from Gandhara in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Catalogue and Attempt at a Stylistic History. Reports and Memoirs. Director of the Series Giuseppe Tucci. Volume XVII. IsMEO, Rome, 1975.


Hand carved

Subjects depicted

Pilasters; Buddhist; Monks


Buddhism; Sculpture


South & South East Asia Collection

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