Buddhist traditions differ on the date of the Buddha’s death, but the texts indicate that it occurred after the rainy-season retreat, most likely during the autumn or mid-winter, that is, November to January. Here he is portrayed over-sized in the center of the scene clothed entirely in gold. The unseasonable blooming of leaves and flowers on the sala trees, when the Buddha was laid down between them, was considered miraculous. Those witnessing the Buddha’s passing from earthly life include Bodhisattvas who have achieved Buddha-hood, his shaven-headed disciples, Hindu deities and guardians who have been converted to the Buddha’s teaching, men and women of every class and more than thirty mourning animals. Queen Maya, mother of the Buddha, descends weeping from upper right. All are beautifully present in this refined and confident Edo Period (1600-1868) hand painted Japanese scroll. The richness, sharp detail and nobility of the scroll befits Gautama Buddha who began life as a worldly princeling and finished it by attaining Nirvana, freed from the cycle of material birth and reincarnation. The image is laid down on a background frame of gold brocaded paper, which is then laid down on turquoise silk patterned paper and finally bordered with a thin strip of creme brocaded paper. This serene vision captures Buddha's teachings of how to exist and coexist in nature which promises enlightenment and grace if followed to its end. According to one translation, Buddha is said to have told his disciples as he prepared to die, “The Buddha can only lead. Be a lamp unto yourself.” Condition: Image, minor wrinkling due to age and rolled storage, otherwise in a very good state of preservation. Some fading to the turquoise paper and losses to surrounding papers, particularly to the outer creme banding. Damage to one of the decorative ribbons at top. Comes with 20th century scroll weights. Dimensions: Image, 23" x 45". Full scroll 29.25" x 58.25".