Lotus-Headed Fertility Goddess Lajja Gauri

India (Madhya Pradesh)

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 236

Lajja Gauri is shown in a birthing posture but does not display the swollen belly of one about to give birth, which suggests that the image is of sexual fecundity. The lotus flower in place of her head makes this association with fertility explicit. This expression of the concept of the female body as the embodiment of life-affirming forces is perhaps the most extreme in Indian iconography. At her left is a diminutive kneeling figure, undoubtedly the donor. This miniature sculpture was reportedly found in the Seoni district of Madhya Pradesh, central India. Such imagery is rare and confined to the first millennium in central India and the Deccan.

Lotus-Headed Fertility Goddess Lajja Gauri, Sandstone, India (Madhya Pradesh)

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