Samuel Eilenberg Collection, Ex Coll.: Columbia University, Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 1987
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 236
This elegant, full-bodied figure of a Buddhist saviouress holding a long-stemmed lotus suggests affiliations with Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. The highly modeled jeweled girdle and flowing sashes hanging free of the body point to a seventh-century date, placing her among the earliest representations of Tara known from North India. The closest analogy is a bejeweled Gaja Lakshmi depicted on a copper seal with Brahmi script datable to the sixth or seventh century, excavated near Haridwar, in Uttar Pradesh.