White Tara thumbnail 1
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images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Buddhism, Room 18, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Galleries of Buddhist Art

White Tara

Figure
16th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

White Tara ('white saviouress'), goddess of purity and transcendant wisdom, is the consort of the fourth Dhyani Buddha. She is seated with legs crossed and soles facing upward in meditation pose. Her raised right hand is in vitarka mudra, her left rests on her left knee. The thumb and first finger of each hand are touching. She wears the thirteen ornaments of a Bodhisattva and the scarf of divinity. Nearly all these ornaments are enriched with precious stones, particularly the elaborate tiara and the lotus earrings. She is nude to the waist, but wears a skirt. In the forehead is turquoise symbolising the eye of foreknowledge and in the palms of the hands and soles of the feet is the eight-petalled lotus with the seed-capsule replaced by the Chinese yin-yang symbol (ie: the creative monad dividing into its male and female elements). Behind each upper arm is a lotus stem terminating in a full-blown lotus with prominent seed capsule.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Gilded copper, cast by the cire perdue process, set with garnets, turquoise (blue and green), rock crystal (reverse painted red), and green and blue transparent glass.
Brief Description
Seated White Tara, gilt copper, garnets, turquoise, rock crystal (reverse painted red), glass. Nepal, 16th century, Malla dynasty
Physical Description
White Tara ('white saviouress'), goddess of purity and transcendant wisdom, is the consort of the fourth Dhyani Buddha. She is seated with legs crossed and soles facing upward in meditation pose. Her raised right hand is in vitarka mudra, her left rests on her left knee. The thumb and first finger of each hand are touching. She wears the thirteen ornaments of a Bodhisattva and the scarf of divinity. Nearly all these ornaments are enriched with precious stones, particularly the elaborate tiara and the lotus earrings. She is nude to the waist, but wears a skirt. In the forehead is turquoise symbolising the eye of foreknowledge and in the palms of the hands and soles of the feet is the eight-petalled lotus with the seed-capsule replaced by the Chinese yin-yang symbol (ie: the creative monad dividing into its male and female elements). Behind each upper arm is a lotus stem terminating in a full-blown lotus with prominent seed capsule.
Dimensions
  • Figure height: 76.2cm
  • Figure width: 56cm
  • Torana height: 172.7cm
  • Torana width: 114.3cm
Gallery Label
White Tara 1650–1700 Nepal Malla dynasty Gilded copper White Tara is one of the most revered and loved bodhisattvas in Tibet. Here, she is shown with her usual symbols, two open lotus flowers on stalks, one behind each shoulder. Her right hand makes the gesture of teaching a point of doctrine (vitarka mudra). Museum no. IM.28-1919(1/4/2009)
Associated Object
Bibliographic Reference
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.65
Collection
Accession Number
IM.28-1919

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record createdApril 29, 2008
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