The narrative in the relief depicted above is rarely encountered in Gandharan art. It depicts two episodes of the story of Prince Siddhartha’s presence at a wedding where he wishes to prove his power and courage by killing a white elephant. His cousin and rival Devadatta is renowned for being extremely strong and desiring to out-maneuver the Prince, Devadata kills the elephant upon which Prince Siddhartha then tosses the dead elephant out of the city, hereby blocking the entrance to the city.

White Elephant blocking the Entrance to the City

  • North Indian Region (Pakistan)
  • 
Graeco-Buddhist art of Gandhara, 2nd - 3rd century
  • Schist
  • W. 34,6 x H. 36 cm
  • Provenance :

• J. Goodwill, London, 2007

  • Publication :

• GRUSENMEYER Karim & Isabelle, WOLINER Damien, A World of Sculptures, Brussels, 2016, n°11, p.128

Photo credit : Studio Asselberghs – Frédéric Dehaen

His cousin and rival Devadatta is renowned for being extremely strong and desiring to out-maneuver the Prince, Devadata kills the elephant upon which Prince Siddhartha then tosses the dead elephant out of the city, hereby blocking the entrance to the city.