Quantcast

Goddess with Weapons in Her Hair

Date:
2nd–1st century B.C.
Culture:
North India (possibly Pataliputra, Bihar)
Medium:
Copper alloy
Dimensions:
H. 2 13/16 in. (7.1 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Samuel Eilenberg Collection, Gift of Samuel Eilenberg, in honor of Steven Kossak, 1987
Accession Number:
1987.142.289
  • Description

    This miniature figure is among the earliest known representations in metal of a goddess with weapons radiating from her hair. The style suggests she was made in the Ganges basin region of northern India—probably at the ancient Magadha capital of Pataliputra (Patna)—and attests to this region being instrumental in the development of this iconography. About the early fifth century, the fully elaborated form of the goddess Durga appears, first in a rock-cut depiction at Udayagiri, displaying the same weapons. While the precise identity of our figure is unknown, she is clearly part of an emerging protector goddess tradition.

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
38924

Close