Kashmir, Green Tara

10th century circa, Kashmir, bodhisattva Tara, brass, at the Alain Bordier Foundation.

10th century circa, Kashmir, bodhisattva Tara, brass with silver-inlaid eyes, at the Alain Bordier Foundation.

This sculpture of Green Tara is immediately recognisable as the work of a Kashmiri artist thanks to a series of elements: the shape of the plinth, with a kneeling character, probably the donor, at the base. The lotus pedestal and cushion. The facial features, especially the wide open silver-inlaid almond shaped eyes. The tight-fitting garment with the lower part that reveals a lobed abdomen. All of this, in conjunction with the use of brass and silver-inlaid eyes and the shape of the mandorla behind her. This particular sculpture has a striking diamond-shape silver-inlaid urna and shows traces of cold gold on her face and blue pigment on her hair, indicating worship in Tibet at some stage.

On paintings Tara can be green or white, sometimes red or yellow (wrathful form). With sculptures, the green form of Tara sits with one leg down and the other folded.

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