Nepal, 14th c. standing Tara

1300 circa, Nepal, Tara, gilt copper alloy, at the Norton Simon Museum (USA).

1300 circa, Nepal, Tara, gilt copper alloy and stone inlay, at the Norton Simon Museum (USA).

White Tara is standing with one hand in the generosity gesture and the other in the Karana mudra (warding off evil), each of her palms revealing an eye that matches her third eye. Her graceful body proportions are enhanced by the slight bending of the waist to one side. Her long dhoti is incised with lotus flowers and held in place with a belt. The broad sash across her hips is knotted at the back and forms a circular shape quite low down at the front. Her tall Indian-style chignon is topped with a jewel, some strands of hair fall over her shouders, her low crown is adorned with bows, she wears bodhisattva jewellery.

Same as before, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA).

14th century, Same as before, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA).

On this example, the large lotus flower attached to her elbow, her tall crown and  side bows, her belt and her jewellery are all inlaid with gems. There is no sash across her hips but a long pleated celestial scarf on her left shoulder that falls almost down to her ankles. She has a small oval face with Chinese facial features and a third eye. Her left hand does the kartari mudra (very similar to the karana mudra above but the index and the middle finger are raised) and the right hand does the chin mudra. There is an eye incised in the palm of each hand.

Same, photo by Christie's

14th century, Nepal, Tara, gilt copper alloy, photo by Christie’s.

Her body posture on this typically Nepalese work is known as tribhanga (thrice bent), i.e. the neck is bent to one side, the waist to the other, and the lower part of the body goes in the direction of the neck (this term is widely used in Indian art and dance) A strand of coiled hair falls on each side of her gentle face. There is no urna or third eye on her forehead. Her right hand does the vitarka mudra or teaching/argument gesture. A lotus leaf springs from the pedestal on which she stands.

14th century circa, Nepal, Tara, gilt copper with stone inlay and pigments, at the Victoria & Albert Museum (London, UK).

14th century circa, Nepal, Tara, gilt copper with stone inlay and pigments, at the Victoria & Albert Museum (London, UK).

 

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