Female donor figure
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- Materials and Techniques:
- Museum number:
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Buddhist Sculpture, room 19, case 4
This image shows a female donor seated in royal ease with her hands raised in ‘anjali’, in reverence of her god. The woman is dressed in richly detailed textiles and wears an array of fine jewellery. The luxurious clothes and adornments suggest that she is a person of high rank, possibly a member of the ruling Malla household of the Kathmandu valley.
This figure was originally riveted to a pedestal. We may presume that she formed part of an ensemble, together with her husband, revering an image of the deity they have donated.
The figure is made from sheet copper which has then been mercury gilded. This was a widely used medium in the later Malla period (about 1200-1768) and permitted the creation of larger-scale devotional images than solid cast copper would allow.
There is a long tradition of acknowledging the role of donors as patrons of Indian religious art. It initially took the form of donor inscriptions that recorded their philanthropy and meritorious intentions. Later, donor portraits appeared. Such portraits have been part of Nepalese art since the Licchavi period (about 300-800 AD). There are, for example, donor portraits at the great Vaisnava temple of Changu Narayan, where the earliest sculptures span the period from 600-800 AD.
Female donor figure of gilt copper.
Place of Origin
Materials and Techniques
Height: 33 cm, Width: 25 cm, Depth: 24 cm
Female donor figure, gilt copper, Nepal, 1790-1810
Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)
Guy, John (ed.). ‘L’Escultura en els Temples Indis: L’Art de la Devocio’, Barcelona : Fundacio ‘La Caixa’, 2007. p.162, cat.125. ISBN 9788476649466
: L’escultura en els temples indis: l’art de la devocio (CaixaForum, Barcelona 27/07/2007-18/11/2007)