Yakshas Relief

Nepal, Kathmandu Valley, possibly Deopatan

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 252

Two bearded yakshas crouch in a rocky landscape, marking the threshold between the revealed world and the subterranean underworld, of which they are the gatekeepers and guardians. Yakshas—here with deeply furrowed brows, long braids of hair piled in a topknot, and large globular earrings and bracelets—are typically represented as obese dwarfs and are renowned for their mischievous and malevolent nature if not appeased. This panel likely functioned as a caryatid supporting a pillar of a Licchavi-period religious structure, a shrine, or pavilion (mandapa).

Yakshas Relief, Stone, Nepal, Kathmandu Valley, possibly Deopatan

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