Asian Art
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Buddhist Deity Indra (Taishakuten)

10th century

Single block of torreya wood with traces of gesso and pigment

41 x 19 x 7 1/2 in. (104.2 x 48.2 x 19 cm) 41 x 19 x 7 1/2 in. (104.2 x 48.2 x 19 cm)
Leonard C. Hanna, Jr., Class of 1913, Fund
1963.31
An important god who controls storms and rain, Indra is one of many early Indian deities that, over time, became known as protectors of Buddhism and its practitioners. This example—one of the most significant religious sculptures in the Gallery’s collection—was carved from a single block of wood (with the exception of the left sleeve and hand), using a technique that is characteristic of Japanese sculpture dating to the early Heian period. Traces of pigment on the garment indicate that it was once brightly colored.
Culture: 
Japanese
Period: 
Heian period (794–1185)
Classification: 
Sculpture
Geography: 
Japan
Status: 
On view*
Provenance: 

Mathias Komor, New York, 1963

Bibliography: 

George J. Lee, Selected Far Eastern Art in the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1970), 38–39, no. 59, ill.

Alan Shestack, ed., Yale University Art Gallery Selections (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1983), 100–101, ill.

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 303, ill.

Sadako Ohki, “Japanese Art at Yale,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2007): 36.

Mimi Hall Yiengpruksawan, “The Interstitial Buddha: Picturing the Death of Sakyamuni,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2007): 50–52, fig. 5.

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.