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Seated Tara

Asian Art

On View: Asian Galleries, Southwest, 2nd floor
This image of Green Tara was made roughly one hundred years after the standing Tara shown nearby. Her seated posture, with one leg dangling from her throne to suggest ease and accessibility, would become the norm for images of Green Tara in India and the Himalayas. The inscription above her head, in a form of Sanskrit, asks the viewer to remember the dharma, or Buddhist teachings, as they are embodied in the goddess.
MEDIUM Black schist
  • Place Made: Bihar, India
  • DATES 9th century
    DYNASTY Pala Dynasty
    PERIOD Pala Period
    DIMENSIONS 30 1/4 x 15 3/4 x 7 3/4 in., 181 lb. (76.8 x 40 x 19.7 cm, 82.1kg) mount (overall): 30 × 17 1/2 × 8 in. (76.2 × 44.5 × 20.3 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Asian Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Asian Galleries, Southwest, 2nd floor
    EXHIBITIONS
    ACCESSION NUMBER 1995.136
    CREDIT LINE Purchased with funds given by Dr. Bertram H. Schaffner
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Seated Tara, 9th century. Black schist, 30 1/4 x 15 3/4 x 7 3/4 in., 181 lb. (76.8 x 40 x 19.7 cm, 82.1kg). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased with funds given by Dr. Bertram H. Schaffner, 1995.136. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1995.136_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 1995.136_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION The Buddhist deity, Tara, seated in lalitasana on an elaborate throne. Her right foot supported by a lotus, she is flanked by two devotees and her right hand is extended in varada mudra, her left holds a nilotpala (blue lotus). The goddess is surrounded by a circular aureole, with pearl and flame borders, and two kinnara (heavenly dwarf musicians) are shown in the upper border among stylized flowers. The base of the throne is flanked by two lions disgorging pearls. The Buddhist creed is inscribed in the nimbus: "invoke the presence of the Dharma, the universal truth taught and embodied by the..." (god or goddess in the image), see Huntington, "Leaves of the Bodhi Tree," p. 124.
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