Garuda abducting Queen Kakati

Sculpture
3rd century - 4th century (made)
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
South-East Asia, Room 47a
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Garuda King abducting Queen Kakati, grey schist, Gandhara, 2nd-4th century


object details
Categories
Object Type
Brief Description
Garuda King abducting Queen Kakati, grey schist, Gandhara, 2nd-4th century
Physical Description
A figure of a Garuda abducting Queen Kakati. The head of the Garuda is turned slightly to the left and wears a turban suggesting the royal status of the Garuda; this is emphasised by the earrings which he also wears. He clasps Queen Kakati to his chest with his talons and since her feet are shown clear of the ground, the group appears to be already in the air. Kakati wears a loose robe with a jewelled belt, necklace, earrings and anklets; her hair is held by a jewelled fillet.

This episode is described in one of the Buddha's previous-life stories, the Jatakas. The Queen of Varanasi is carried by the mythical bird, only to be returned unharmed after her king (the bodhisattva, in fact) performs an act of selfless kindness.
Dimensions
  • Height: 51.5cm
  • Width: 26.7cm
  • Depth: 14cm
Style
Gallery Label
Garuda Abducting Queen Kakati 200–400 Kushan period This relief illustrates a scene from the Kakati Jataka, one of the legends relating episodes from the Buddha’s previous lives.The mythical bird-king Garuda is carrying off the queen of Benares. She was returned unharmed after her husband the king – the future Buddha – performed an act of selfless kindness. Garuda wears a royal turban and earrings. Schist Gandhara/North-west Pakistan Museum no. IS.5-1973 (06/06/2011)
Historical context
This relief depicts a scene from the Kakati Jataka, one of the legends relating episodes from the Buddha's previous lives. The queen of Benares is seen being carried off by a mythical bird creature (Garuda). She is returned after the king (the bodhisattva) performs an act of selfless kindness.
Production
Gandhara, Pakistan
Subject depicted
Summary
Garuda King abducting Queen Kakati, grey schist, Gandhara, 2nd-4th century
Bibliographic References
  • Cowell & Neil No.327 Vol III p.60
  • Guy, John. ‘Indian Temple Sculpture’, London : V&A Publications, 2007. p.24. pl.16. ISBN 9781851775095
Collection
Accession Number
IS.5-1973

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record createdFebruary 13, 2000
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