Death, Third of the Four Sights seen by Prince Siddhartha

Burma, Death, Third of the Four Sights seen by Prince Siddhartha, 1890-1910, Burma, wood, pigment, metal, fibre, 90.0 x 38.0 x 48.0 cm (body with crows), 24.0 x 36.0 x 16.0 cm (vulture); Gift of Barrie and Judith Heaven 2010, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

This sculpture is based on a real dead person.

It has lots of detail about a dead body.

The body is bloated;

The tongue is big;

The eyes are bulging;

And birds are eating the body.

This sculpture was made around 1900 in Myanmar,

a country in Asia.

Sights like this were common there at cemeteries.

A place to be buried after you die.

The sculpture is based on the story of Prince Siddhartha.

Prince Siddhartha lived in his father’s palace.

He had a rich and easy life.

When he left the palace for the first time, he saw four things he had never seen before.

He saw:

- An old man

- A sick man

- A dead man

- A monk

Prince Siddhartha was sad that people did not have an easy life like him.

He gave up his rich life.

Instead, he searched for inner peace through spirituality.

A belief like a religion.

The sculpture shows the third thing that Prince Siddhartha saw – a dead man.

The artist has made the sculpture look real.

It has tattoos.

It used to have hair.

The hair is no longer there.

But you can see the metal nails that held the hair on the head.

There are crows, a type of small black bird,

eating the body.

There is also a vulture, a large bird that eats meat,

eating the body.