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Burmese Teaching Panel

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Burmese Teaching Panel

This unusually large temple panel depicts an important moment from the penultimate life of the Buddha. The panel is read from left to right and shows members of the royal family standing outside the palace with courtiers and a rare white elephant. The princess is giving offerings to supplicants. This part of the composition symbolizes the giving away of the family’s earthly possessions. In the center segment, there are no servants present and the princely family is riding into the forest in the royal carriage. Int the rightmost segment, they have given away the carriage and are now travelling by foot. In later panels the prince (in his next life the Buddha) gives away his children and lives alone in a search for enlightenment that reaches its climax in his next life.

Teaching panels were placed in Burmese temples to illustrate the stories and teaching of the Buddhist faith. They were brightly colored and frequently playful in appearance. This panel was made from softwood planks joined together, carved, painted and framed. It dates to about 1920. It was part of a much larger series telling a complete story. Today the 3-dimensional panels have been replaced by larger murals painted on cement walls.
Origin | Burma
Year Made | 20th Century
Material | Teak Wood & Paint
Dimensions | 109.75"W x 3"D x 34"H
ID | 10T05171A
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