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Plaque

Plaque

  • Place of origin:

    Pegu (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    15th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Terra cotta, glazed with cream, green and brown

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Col. E.H. Power

  • Museum number:

    173-1875

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This ceramic plaque depicts two of the daughters of Mara elegantly posed against a green background. They are wearing decorative red and green garments and elaborate headdresses and jewellery, each with one hand to her side, the other raised and holding a fan. The plaque probably formed part of a larger series illustrating the Buddha's triumph over evil and the rout of Mara's army. The army was placed around the base of the Shwegugyi pagoda in Pegu to disrupt the Buddha while he meditated and sought enlightenment. It may have been combined with another series showing part or all of the Jataka stories (a series of tales recounting the Buddha's previous lives).

The practice of decorating pagodas with glazed terracotta plaques modelled in relief with Jataka scenes probably began in Burma in the Mon capital of Thahton. It was brought to Pagan by the Burmese king Anirhuddha about the middle of the 11th century, and their use there, as in Pegu in the later 15th century, was probably as much educational as decorative.

Physical description

Depicts two of the daughters of Mara (God of Death) standing side by side against a green background in elegant pose, wearing decorative red and green garments and elaborate headdresses and jewellery, with one hand to their side, the other raised and holding a fan. There is an inscription pressed above their heads.

Place of Origin

Pegu (possibly, made)

Date

15th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Terra cotta, glazed with cream, green and brown

Dimensions

Height: 43.5 cm, Width: 35 cm

Object history note

Pitt Rivers has four more of this series, given by Richard Temple

Descriptive line

Plaque depicting two of the daughters of Mara (God of Death), lead-glazed earthenware, possibly from the Shwegugyi pagoda in Pegu, Burma, 15th century

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

B.M. Catalogue - Buddhism "Art & Faith"; 1985; pp.164; pl. 226
Text for Mrs. J.T. Bailey's Slide Lecture on Burmese Art; pp.48 May 1968
An illustration of similar plaques is given in pl. 10 of "Note of a tour in Burma in March and April 1892" by Gertel; Rangoon, 1893
A similar plaque is in the B.M. Both are illustrated in "Notes on Antiquities in Ramamadesa", by Sir Richard Camac Temple in Indian Antiquary, 1893 Dec. Vol. XII
cat. no. 21
Burmese art / John Lowry. London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1974 Number: 0112901794 :

Production Note

Possibly from the Shwegugyi pagoda in Pegu, Burma

Categories

Architectural fittings; Ceramics; Buddhism

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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