Relief fragment depicting Prince Siddhartha, the future Buddha, cutting his hair in renunciation

On display

In this relief fragment, the prince uses a short sword to cut his hair, prior to becoming a wandering ascetic. The attendant receives his discarded turban.


  • Title

    Relief fragment depicting Prince Siddhartha, the future Buddha, cutting his hair in renunciation

  • Associated people

    the Buddha (active c. 560 BC - c. 486 BC) (subject)
  • Associated place

    Gandhara (place of creation)
    Swat (probable) (probable place of creation)
  • Date

    1st - 2nd century AD (AD 1 - 200)
    Kushan Period (AD 50 - 600)
  • Material and technique

    grey schist

  • Material index

  • Technique index

  • Object type

  • Dimensions

    29.5 x 25.3 x 4.2 cm max. (height x width x depth)
  • No. of items


  • Credit line

    Purchased, 1997.

  • Museum location

    Ground floor | Gallery 12 | India to AD 600
  • Museum department

    Eastern Art

  • Accession no.


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Further reading

Taddei, Maurizio, ‘Some Reflections on the Formation of the Buddha Image: Keynote Address’, Ellen M. Raven, ed., Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference of the European Association of South Asian Archaeologists, held at the Universiteit Leiden, 5-9 (Groningen: Egbert Forsten, 2008), pp. 3-4, illus. p. 5 fig. 1.3

Jongeward, David, Buddhist Art of Gandhara in the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2019), no. 14 on p. 40

Reference URL

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