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Chinese Bronzes of the Shang and Zhou Periods
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White Tara
Tibet or Mongolia; 17th century
Silver with gold and inlays of semiprecious stones
H. 6 3/4 in. (17.1 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
The seated pose and hand gestures identify this image as White Tara, one of the two most popular forms of the goddess Tara (the other is Green Tara, see Related Objects). White Tara is specifically associated with practices designed to lengthen one's lifespan and overcome life-threatening situations. Her special characteristics are her seven eyes -- the third eye located on her forehead and the other four on the palms of her hands and the soles of her feet. These eyes allow her to look upon beings in every realm of existence with wisdom and compassion. Made of silver, this image of White Tara is also lavishly decorated with gold and semiprecious stones such as turquoise. Slots in both of her upper arms suggest that lotuses, an attribute of White Tara, were once attached to the image.
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