Description Carved in life-sized proportions, this goddess is an embodiment of Shakti, the divine feminine energy worshiped in some Hindu traditions as the supreme deity, and in others as an important aspect of the supreme deity. She may have been enshrined in her own temple or as a yogini, together with many such goddesses represented in a variety of forms. Yoginis are believed to be both dangerous and beneficial, and to grant special powers (such as worldly success or the ability to fly) to devotees. While this goddess’s voluptuous body, rich jewelry, and idealized facial features point to the auspicious aspects of her character, her elaborately arranged dreadlocks signal her ascetic power. When intact she would have sat with one leg pendant, and she may have had four or more arms, with hands holding fearsome objects such as weapons or a skull-topped staff, or less threatening objects, such as a pot or bell.
- Desire and Devotion: Art from India, Nepal, and Tibet in the John and Berthe Ford Collection. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara; Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham. 2001-2003.
Provenance Doris Wiener, New York; purchased by John and Berthe Ford, Baltimore, 1969; given to Walters Art Museum, 2003.
Credit Gift of John and Berthe Ford, 2003
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