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Gilded bronze figure of Tara
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We do not know the name of the artist who created this image of the goddess Tara. Images of Tara have been made ofr hundreds of years. She was originally one of the Hindu mother goddesses, and with the development of Buddhism she became associated with the consort of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. Bodhisattva are beings who have reached the highest degree of enlightenment, but choose to remain in the world to help in the salvation of others.

This figure was made from a single piece of solid cast and gilded bronze. It is one of the finest examples of figural bronze-casting known from Asia. Originally the eyes and hair would have been inlaid with precious stones, and a small niche in the headdress would have contained a seated image of the Buddha. Tara’s right hand is shown in the position of varadamudra, the gesture of giving; her left hand is empty but may once have held a lotus flower.

Gilded bronze figure of Tara

Found between Trincomalee and Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, made in the VIII century AD.
Ht 143 cm.
Gift of Sir Robert Brownrigg.

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