Schist figure of a matrika (mother goddess)

From Tanesara, Southern Rajasthan, western India
mid-6th century AD

This matrika stands wearing a dhoti (lower garment) and a long scarf over her nude torso. Her weight is on one leg, the right being gently flexed. The goddess in Hinduism takes on many forms, some fierce and powerful, others peaceful and loving. In this sculpture she is shown as the embodiment of maternal love. This is emphasized by her gaze, which is directed towards the child at her knee. The lively representation of the child gives the image a human tenderness which is rare in sculpture of the period. Although it has no specific attribute that allows us to identify her more specifically, her sacred nature is underlined by the halo around her head.

Hindus often pour water over sculptures as part of daily worship, resulting in the worn surface seen here.

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Height: 31.000 inches

Museum number

Asia OA 1963.11-12.1


Brooke Sewell Fund


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