LOW RELIEF WITH DHARMA WHEEL
Bas-relief in silvery grey schist, carved with an ensemble of Buddhist symbols: the Dharma wheel in the centre surrounded by two tree branches and 4 vases surrounding two Bodhisattva in prayer. On each side two deep and narrow rectangles are visible: they were used to fix the panel to the walls of the temple or the stupa. The stone was fractured at one point, probably due to a structural origin. Nice signs of patina and erosion due to age.
The Dharma Wheels symbolises Buddhist law. It is the most important symbol representing Buddha's teaching, illustrating the unending cycle of birth and rebirth put in movement. The vase is a symbol of long life and prosperity. The auspicious symbols, which number eight, are all a legacy of Indian tradition. The art of the Gandhara, born on Indian soil and in the service of the Buddhist religion, uses iconographic elements drawn from the Buddhist repertory and artfully combines them with the sculpting techniques introduced by the Greek soldiers from Macedonia and then from Bactria who participated to the Conquest of Alexander the Great.