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Inscriptions to figs.28-35 (folio 17A)

Inscriptions to figs.28-35 (folio 17A)

Artist: Maisey, Frederick Charles (1825-1892)

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1850

Shelfmark: WD546

Item number: 17b

Length: 14

Width: 12.3

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

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Inscriptions in pen and ink with notes in pencil for the figures illustrated in folio 17A depicting sculptured details from the gateways of the stupa of Sanchi. The inscriptions are taken from an album of 60 drawings dated 1847-1854.

The great Stupa of Sanchi, Stupa 1, is the finest example of monumental architecture of the Shunga era. Its core is believed to date from the reign of Ashoka, 3rd century BC. The original brick stupa was probably one of the numerous stupas that Ashoka built in his kingdom to enshrine the bodily remains of the Buddha. In 150 BC the Stupa was enlarged and encased in stone and around 50 BC it was embellished with four monumental gates (toranas). These consist of square pillars supporting three curved architraves, completely covered with magnificent reliefs depicting jatakas (stories of Buddha's earlier incarnations) as well as stories from the historical Buddha and various auspicious symbols.

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