Description This female figure, from the eastern Indian region of West Bengal, is almost certainly Radha, lover of the god Krishna. As a human woman who devotes herself completely and passionately to her god, Radha exemplifies an ideal for Krishna devotees to emulate. By the strength of her devotion, she is transformed from a beloved human "gopi" (cowherd) into a divine goddess. Radha is worshiped through sculptures like this one. Within a shrine, the sculpture would be dressed and adorned with jewelry, and a flower might be placed in her left hand. The repeated application of ritual liquids, such as river water or oil, and centuries of devotional touching have smoothed Radha’s facial features.
- 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.
Provenance Kumar Art Gallery, New Delhi, India; purchased by John and Berthe Ford, Baltimore; given to Walters Art Museum, 2000.
Credit Gift of John and Berthe Ford, 2000
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