Mercury-gilded copper alloy with rock crystal, paint, foil, and glass decoration
28 1/4 × 29 1/4 × 14 3/4 inches (71.8 × 74.3 × 37.5 cm)
Purchased with the Stella Kramrisch Fund, 1998
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As symbols of wealth—both material and spiritual—gold, ivory, and gemstones are revered worldwide. In the Buddhist and Hindu art of Tibet and Nepal, such riches are used to create magnificent images that are inherently pious offerings, believed to benefit the donor, creator, and all who view them.
All that glitters may, in fact, be gold...
Listen to or download curator Katherine Anne Paul's Podcast.
Gilding the Lotus: Enriching the Himalayan Collection not only reflects the Himalayan love of visual opulence, but also emphasizes the Museum’s historic and continuing dedication to enriching understanding of the sophisticated religious arts of the Himalayan region. Many of these sumptuous treasures are on view for the first time.