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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
South-East Asia, Room 47a

Sitatara

Figure
14th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin



object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Painted and gilded copper, with semi-precious stones, turquoise, imitation rubies and lapis lazuli
Brief Description
White Tara (Sitatara), painted and gilded copper inset with semi-precious stones, turquoise, imitation rubies and lapis lazuli, Nepal, 14th century, Malla period
Dimensions
  • Height: 90.8cm
  • Across hands width: 39.7cm
Style
Gallery Label
White Tara (Sitatara) 1300–1400 Malla period Tara was widely worshipped in Nepal and Tibet. Rolled prayers written in Tibetan found within this image indicates that it was venerated by Tibetans. The goddess has the attribute of the lotus above her left shoulder. She makes the gesture of preaching (vyakhyana mudra) with her raised hand and holds her other hand in varada mudra, the wish-granting gesture. Painted and gilded copper, with semi-precious stones, turquoise, imitation rubies and lapis lazuli Nepal Museum no. IM.239-1927 (14/06/2011)
Credit line
Bequeathed by Lord Curzon of Kedleston
Historical context
The goddess Tara was widely worshipped in Nepal and Tibet. The cult was stimulated by Atisa, the Indian teacher who played a major role in stimulating Buddhism in Tibet in the 11th century. Sitatara, the white Tara has the lotus (padma) attribute and makes the gesture of preaching (vyakhyanamudra) with her raised hand, the other held in varadamudra, the gesture of the granting of wishes. A third eye is indicated on her forehead. This is a mild form of Tara, seen as the female manifestation of Avalokitesvara, displayed opposite (IM 239-1922). Prayers written in Tibetan were found inside the image, indicating that it had been venerated by Tibetans.
Subject depicted
Bibliographic References
  • PUBLISHED, U von Shroeder, Indo-Tibetan Bronzes, 1981, pl.91G
  • Orientations; vol. 40. no. 4; May 2009; The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum. Cam Sharp Jones, Interpreting the Iconography of Tara in Sculptural form. p.66
Collection
Accession Number
IM.239-1927

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record createdFebruary 13, 2000
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