Indian and Himalayan Art
Architectural Fragment showing Vasudhara, Goddess of AbundanceMade in Tibet, Asia
c. 11th century
Artist/maker unknown, Tibetan
Wood with polychrome, silver, and gold decoration
Currently not on view
2003-90-1Purchased with the Stella Kramrisch Fund, 2003
LabelAt the center of this wooden architectural fragment is Vasudhara, Goddess of Abundance, painted gold to resemble a gilded statue. Her boon-granting hand gestures and the flower, vase (a symbol of plenty), and stalk of grain (a symbol of abundant crops) she holds relate to her role as an agricultural benefactor. The book in her upper hand is the Prajnaparamita, which is paraded annually through Himalayan villages and fields to provide protection and encourage good harvests. Several layers of pigments can be seen in the ornate and colorful foliage that surrounds the goddess, indicating that this centuries-old work was devoutly repainted many times.