Gilded bronze figure of Tara

imgp5498-1Took this during a recent trip to the British Museum. Arguably, one of the best museums in the World. Hope you like it.

Found between Trincomalee and Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, 8th century AD.
This image is of the popular Buddhist goddess, Tara, the consort of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion.

This image is one of the finest examples of figural bronze-casting in Asia. It is solid cast in one piece and gilded. The eyes and the elaborately arranged hair were doubtless inlaid with precious stones. A small niche in the headdress would have contained a small seated image of the Buddha. The goddess is naked to the waist with a lower garment flowing to her ankles. Tara’s right hand is shown in the position of varadamudra, the gesture of giving; her left hand is empty but may have held a lotus flower. This image was for a long time identified as the local goddess Pattini, whose cult is popular in Sri Lanka.

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