Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Panel of a Portable Shrine with Karttikeya, the God of War

6th century
Pakistan (ancient region of Gandhara)
H. 3 7/8 in. (9.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Samuel Eilenberg Collection, Gift of Samuel Eilenberg, 1987
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 237
Here, the god of war Karttikeya, eldest son of Shiva and Parvati, is accompanied by a peacock, his vehicle, and a male donor presenting an offering. The deity is also associated with the rooster, likely the bird he holds in one hand. In his lower-left hand, he displays a victory laurel, marking his triumphs in combat, the most celebrated of which is the slaying of the demon Taraka. Karttikeya touches the donor’s head with the laurel, as if bestowing victory upon him.
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