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Gaja Lakshmi, Goddess of Fortune

Date:
6th century
Culture:
India (Jammu and Kashmir, ancient kingdom of Kashmir)
Medium:
Stone
Dimensions:
H. 9 7 /8 in. (25.1 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Purchase, Mrs. Arthur Hays Sulzberger Gift and funds from various donors, 1993
Accession Number:
1993.194
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 237
The enthroned goddess holds a lotus in her left hand and a lotus cornucopia in her right, while two elephants bathe her with life-giving water. Two female attendants hold flywhisks at either side, and two lions flank her feet. A pair of donor figures holds upturned vessels, pouring riches bestowed by Lakshmi, evoking the river of fortune that flows from the goddess. Gaja Lakshmi first appears in this form in the first century B.C., making her one of the earliest recognizable goddess in southern Asia.
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