Art/ Collection/ 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.
Related Objects

Twelve-Armed Chakrasamvara and His Consort Vajravarahi

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

Carved Conch with Lakshmi-Narayana

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

Krishna Revels with the Gopis: Page from a Dispersed Gita Govinda (Song of the Cowherds)

Date: ca. 1630–40 Medium: Opaque watercolor and silver on paper Accession: 2003.165 On view in:Gallery 251

Shiva as Lord of Dance (Nataraja)

Date: ca. 11th century Medium: Copper alloy Accession: 1987.80.1 On view in:Gallery 240

Jain Svetambara Tirthankara in Meditation

Date: first half of the 11th century Medium: Marble Accession: 1992.131 On view in:Gallery 241