Indra, King of the Gods' Heaven

Artist/maker unknown, Nepalese

Made in Nepal, Asia

Malla Dynasty (1200-1769)

c. 1200

Mercury-gilded copper alloy with spinel rubies, rock crystal, and turquoise

15 7/8 × 9 3/4 × 8 1/2 inches (40.3 × 24.8 × 21.6 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

* Gallery 48, Modern and Contemporary Art, ground floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Stella Kramrisch Collection, 1994

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buddhism [x]   hindu [x]   lalitasana (relaxed seated pose) [x]   third eye [x]  

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Indra, an ancient deity who reigns over the heaven of the gods in Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain mythology, is distinguished by his horizontal third eye. Indra is particularly popular in Nepal, among both Buddhists and Hindus. Here the god wears a close-fitting lower garment incised with subtle floral decorations. The modeling of the sculpture is similar to works made in northeastern India under the Pala and Sena dynasties (about ninth through twelfth centuries). This stylistic resonance reflects the frequent interaction between India and Nepal through Buddhist and Hindu artisans and pilgrims.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.