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Sculpture from the Kushan Period
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Jain sculpture
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Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Sculpture from Nepal
Sculpture from the Kushan Period
Two Bodhisattvas from Sri Lanka
Railing Pillar With a Woman Beneath a Tree (Shalabhanjika)
India, Uttar Pradesh, Mathura area; Kushan period (late 1st - 3rd century C.E.), 2nd century C.E.
H. 30 3/4 in. (78.1 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
The bejeweled and voluptuous female figure decorating this railing pillar stands on a pile of rocks and kicks the base of a tree with her left foot. This pose reflects the ancient belief that when a young woman touched a tree, her fecundity was transferred to the tree, causing it to blossom. This figure's round breasts, wide hips and lack of clothes also testify to her auspicious and fertile nature. She decorates a pillar that was once part of a circular railing used to create a sacred space around a monument, such as a stupa. It is not certain, however, whether this railing was from a Buddhist, Hindu, or Jain site.
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