Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Lotus-Headed Fertility Goddess Lajja Gauri

Date:
ca. 6th century
Culture:
India (Madhya Pradesh)
Medium:
Sandstone
Dimensions:
H. 4 1/16 in. (10.3 cm); W. 4 1/16 in. (10.3 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Samuel Eilenberg Collection, Bequest of Samuel Eilenberg, 1998
Accession Number:
2000.284.13
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 236
Lajja Gauri is shown in a birthing posture but does not display the swollen belly of one about to give birth, which suggests that the image is of sexual fecundity. The lotus flower in place of her head makes this association with fertility explicit. This expression of the concept of the female body as the embodiment of life-affirming forces is perhaps the most extreme in Indian iconography. At her left is a diminutive kneeling figure, undoubtedly the donor. This miniature sculpture was reportedly found in the Seoni district of Madhya Pradesh, central India. Such imagery is rare and confined to the first millennium in central India and the Deccan.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Lotus Transcendent: Indian and Southeast Asian Art from the Samuel Eilenberg Collection," October 2, 1991–June 28, 1992.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Pala-Sena Period," 2007.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Mother India: The Goddess in Indian Painting," June 29, 2011–November 27, 2011.

Related Objects

Yaksha

Date: ca. 50 B.C. Medium: Sandstone Accession: 1988.354 On view in:Gallery 234

Two Lotuses, from the Bharhut Stupa

Date: ca. 1st century B.C. Medium: Red sandstone Accession: 1972.215 On view in:Gallery 234

Dancing Ganesha

Date: 10th century Medium: Mottled red sandstone Accession: 2007.480.2 On view in:Gallery 241

Linga with Face of Shiva (Ekamukhalinga)

Date: first half of the 5th century Medium: Sandstone Accession: 1987.142.323 On view in:Gallery 236

Nagini (Serpent Queen or Consort of Nagaraja)

Date: second quarter of the 5th century Medium: Stone Accession: 1987.415.2 On view in:Gallery 236