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Asian Art

Buddhist Goddess Tara

late 9th–10th century c.e.


27 3/4 × 15 × 5 1/2 in. (70.5 × 38.1 × 13.97 cm)
with base: 29 × 13 1/2 × 6 in. (73.66 × 34.29 × 15.24 cm)
Gift of Georgia and Michael de Havenon, B.A. 1962
Revered as a protector against both physical and spiritual dangers, Tara, who can take many forms, also served as a focus of meditation in both Nepal and Tibet. She is identified here by the lotus that she holds in her left hand and by her five-pointed crown, which is representative of a type worn in Buddhist ceremonies.
Geography Nepal
On view
Thakuri (transitional) period (879–1200)

In situ, Golmadhi Ganesh, Bhaktapur, Nepal, to at least 1976 [see note 1]. Spink and Son Ltd., London, by 1984 (as Devi); sold to James Alsdorf, Esq. (died 1990) and Marilynn Alsdorf (née Bruder) (1925–2019), Winnetka, Illinois, March 23, 1984; sale, Sotheby's, New York, March 21, 2002, lot 45 (as Devi). Michael and Georgia de Havenon, New York, by 2002; given to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2015

Note 1: Buddhist Goddess Tara was photographed in situ at Golmadhi Ganesh in 1976 by Ulrich von Schroeder (communication with Ulrich von Schroeder, June 2021; see also Schroeder, 2019, p.1116).

The Gallery is conducting further research to establish when and under what circumstances the sculpture left the sacred shrine.

This work appears on our "Antiquities and Archaeological Material with Provenance Documentation Gaps" page.

Sotheby’s, New York, Indian and Southeast Asian Art, sale cat. (March 23, 2000), lot 33.

Sotheby’s, New York, Indian and Southeast Asian Art, sale cat. (March 21, 2002), lot 45.

“Acquisitions 2015,” http://artgallery.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/Pub_Bull_acquisitions_2015_updated%2012_16_15.pdf (accessed December 1, 2015).

Denise Patry Leidy, “South and Southeast Asian Sculpture, 7th–9th century,” Arts of Asia (March–April 2018): 60, fig. 4.

Ulrich von Schroeder, Nepalese Stone Sculptures, 2 (Weesen, Switzerland: Visual Dharma Publications, 2019), 1116–17, fig. 353C-D.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.