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Asian Art

Tile with Ascetics, Figures on Balconies, and Ducks

5th–6th century C.E.

Earthenware (terracotta)

21 1/8 × 11 15/16 × 2 3/8 in. (53.6 × 30.3 × 6 cm)
Gift of Evelyn Kranes Kossak
This image, showing two ascetics practicing while others converse on a balcony and waterfowl frolic in a lotus pond, is typical of the tiles that once decorated the sides of an apsidal temple at the site of Harwan in the Kashmir region. Representations of naked and emaciated practitioners are not generally found in contemporaneous Buddhist imagery outside of Harwan, which suggests that the site may illustrate the melding of earlier traditions with others that led to the development of later esoteric Buddhism, known for its more austere practices.
Harwan, Kashmir, India
On view
Indian, ancient kingdom of Harwan
Gupta period (ca. 320–ca. 600 C.E.)

Heeramaneck Collection; sale, Sotheby's, New York, September, 1985; sold to Evelyn Kranes Kossak, New York; given to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2018

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.