Art/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Kurukulla Dancing in Her Mountain Grotto: Folio from a Manuscript of the Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom)

Period:
Pala period
Date:
early 12th century
Culture:
India, West Bengal or Bangladesh
Medium:
Opaque watercolor on palm leaf
Dimensions:
Page: 2 3/4 x 16 7/16 in. (7 x 41.8 cm) Image: 2 1/2 x 1 15/16 in. (6.4 x 4.9 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 2001
Accession Number:
2001.445c
Not on view
Emphasizing her role as destroyer of corruption, the goddess Kurukulla is surrounded by a halo of flame and dances on a corpse. Like so many of the aggressive deities that emerged in the esoteric tradition, Kurukulla is understood to be an emanation of one of the Tathagatas—in this case, the calm celestial Buddha Amitabha, who presides over the western Pure Land. Such dualistic female-male or aggressive-pacific relationships typify how the emerging Vajrayana Buddhist pantheon gave visual form to the breadth of the tradition’s ideological discourse and practice. These tiny paintings were executed by an artist of great skill and are among the greatest palm-leaf manuscript illustrations that survive from the Indian subcontinent.
[ T. T. Gallery , Kathmandu, Nepal, until 2001, sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Early Buddhist Manuscript Painting: The Palm-Leaf Tradition," July 29, 2008–March 22, 2009.

Zurich. Museum Rietberg. "1100–1900: The 40 Greatest Masters of Indian Painting," May 1, 2011–August 21, 2011.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Wonder of the Age: Master Painters of India, 1100–1900," September 26, 2011–January 8, 2012.

Related Objects

Carved Conch with Lakshmi-Narayana

Date: 11th–12th century Medium: Shell with silver additions Accession: 1986.501.6 On view in:Gallery 238

Twelve-Armed Chakrasamvara and His Consort Vajravarahi

Date: ca. 12th century Medium: Phyllite Accession: 1988.392 On view in:Gallery 238

The Goddess Mahasitavati, Folio from a Buddhist Manuscript

Date: ca. 12th century Medium: Opaque watercolor on palm leaf Accession: 1987.246 On view in:Gallery 251

Hanuman Conversing

Date: 11th century Medium: Copper alloy Accession: 1982.220.9 On view in:Gallery 240

Standing Shiva

Date: ca. 13th century Medium: Bronze Accession: 1979.508 On view in:Gallery 240