Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Seated Ascetic, Deified King, Agni (The God of Fire)

ca. 3rd century
India (Kaushambi, Uttar Pradesh)
H. 14 1/2 in. (36.8 cm); W. 6 9/16 in. (16.7 cm); D. 7 in. (17.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Frank Weinstein, 1984
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 235
This rare and enigmatic sculpture is difficult to identify because he has the hairstyle and jewelry of a king or the god Agni but holds the flask of a Brahman ascetic and sits with a strap across his knees like a yogi. Stylistically—especially the way he holds his right hand in abhaya mudra (a gesture of approachability)—this image can be closely related to sculptures found at the site of Kaushambi. His necklace can be directly compared to known Roman examples.
New York. Asia Society. "The Real, the Fake and the Masterpiece," June 9, 1988–August 28, 1988.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Pala-Sena Period," 2007.

Related Objects

Goddess with Weapons in Her Hair

Artist: Date: 2nd century B.C.
Accession Number: 1987.142.289
Date: 2nd century B.C. Medium: Copper alloy Accession: 1987.142.289 On view in:Gallery 234

Standing Buddha Offering Protection

Artist: Date: late 5th century
Accession Number: 1979.6
Date: late 5th century Medium: Red sandstone Accession: 1979.6 On view in:Gallery 236

Crowned Bodhisattva

Artist: Date: 3rd–early 4th century
Accession Number: 2016.701
Date: 3rd–early 4th century Medium: Sandstone Accession: 2016.701 On view in:Gallery 235

Dancing Celestial Deity (Devata)

Artist: Date: early 12th century
Accession Number: 2015.500.4.14
Date: early 12th century Medium: Sandstone Accession: 2015.500.4.14 On view in:Gallery 241

Standing Nagaraja (Serpent King)

Artist: Date: ca. mid- 5th century
Accession Number: 1991.83.1
Date: ca. mid- 5th century Medium: Red sandstone Accession: 1991.83.1 On view in:Gallery 236