Nimbus Fragment with Celestial Beings and Bodhi Tree
c. 100
Asia: India, Uttar Pradesh, Mathura
On View

This sandstone fragment was once part of a nimbus, or halo, surrounding Buddha Shakyamuni seated beneath a bodhi tree, which can be recognized by its distinctive heart-shaped leaves. The tree is actually a fig tree (ficus religiosa), but became known as a bodhi tree because the Buddha reached enlightenment (bodhi) after meditating beneath one for forty-nine days. The two flying male figures are angels bearing garlands as offerings to the Buddha.


  • Title: Nimbus Fragment with Celestial Beings and Bodhi Tree
  • Date: c. 100
  • Medium: Mottled red sandstone
  • Dimensions: overall: 21-3/4 x 39 x 4-3/4 in. (55.2 x 99.1 x 12.1 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1975.16.01.S
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

  • Leoshko, Janice, Asian Art: Selections from the Norton Simon Museum, fig. 5 p. 10
  • Pal, Pratapaditya, A Pot-pourri of Indian Art, 1988, p. 9
  • Pal, Pratapaditya, Asian Art at the Norton Simon Museum, Volume 1: Art from the Indian Subcontinent, 2003, no. 41 p. 77
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 1219 p. 384
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