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Vajravarahi
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Vajravarahi


Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Casting her eyes downward, Vajravarahi dances suspended in the air, the vivid red of her body alluding to her unfettered spirit and her capacity to create and destroy. Vajravarahi’s body exemplifies the feminine strength of the yogini—blissful, compassionate, and all-knowing. However, the face of the female pig ("varahi") that emerges from the side of her head shows her fierce nature, as do her garland of severed heads and her girdle made of bone. In the shrine for which this figure was made, the sculpture would have also included a corpse lying beneath Vajravarahi’s feet, a blood-filled skull cup in her left hand, a curved knife in her right hand, and a staff crowned with skulls and a trident in the crook of her left arm. Together they represent the selfish and negative feelings the goddess has overcome.
Conservation
Date Description Narrative
11/01/2016Treatmentexamined for exhibition; media consolidation
Exhibitions
  • 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; Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong. 2001-2003.
  • Ferocious Beauty: Wrathful Deities from Tibet and Nepal. 2016-2017.
Provenance Peter Burleigh [diplomat in Nepal], Washington, D.C.; purchased by John and Berthe Ford, Baltimore, November 1985; given to Walters Art Museum, 2017.
Credit Gift of John and Berthe Ford, 2017

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Creator
Period
15th century
Medium
unfired clay, metal armature, paint, reverse-painted glass, and white metal leaf
(Sculpture)
Accession Number
25.270
Measurements
H: 40 1/4 × W: 21 1/2 × D with mount: 22 in. (102.24 × 54.61 × 55.88 cm)
Geographies
  • Nepal (Place of Origin)

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