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The Goddess Durga Killing the Buffalo PowerPoint Presentation
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The Goddess Durga Killing the Buffalo

The Goddess Durga Killing the Buffalo

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The Goddess Durga Killing the Buffalo

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    The Goddess Durga Killing the Buffalo Demon, Mahisha (Mahishasuramardini), Pala period (ca. 7501200), 12th century West Bengal, India or Bangladesh Purchase, Diana and Arthur G. Altschul Gift, 1993 (1993.7) Metropolitan Museum of Art www.metmuseum.org Durga from India

    Slide 1:Description Among the most exquisitely carved objects from South Asia is a group of miniature Pala-style (about 7501200) sculptures in one of two types of material: an extremely fine-grained yellow-beige stone, known as mudstone (which can take several forms, such as pyrophyllite or kaolinite) or an extremely fine-grained black or dark brown phyllite. Most portray Esoteric Buddhist deities; however, a few, such as this, represent Hindu divinities. Durga is portrayed as the sixteen-armed slayer of a buffalo inhabited by the fierce demon Mahisha. A threat to the world, Mahisha was invincible. Even the Hindu gods who had challenged him could not kill him. In desperation they created the goddess Durga to be their champion and gave her their weapons. A missing right hand held the spear with which she is about to stab Mahisha. In her other right hands she holds an arrow, sword, chisel, hammer, thunderbolt, elephant goad, and war discus. The objects in her left hands are a shield, bow, bell, mirror, and noose. Durga has just severed the buffalo's head with her many weapons. Mahisha, in the form of a tiny, chubby man, his head backed by snake heads, emerges from the buffalo's decapitated body and looks up admiringly at the warlike but beautiful Durga even as his toes are being bitten by her lion. Durga smiles serenely as she hoists Mahisha by his hair and treads gracefully on the buffalo's body. All of these narrative details are skillfully composed and placed on a double-lotus base in a carving no larger than a human hand. This sculpture must rank as one of the finest known Indian miniatures. Its astonishing plasticity and subtlety make it comparable to the finest large-scale Pala-period sculptures, while its size affords the viewer the delights of personal discovery. Description Among the most exquisitely carved objects from South Asia is a group of miniature Pala-style (about 7501200) sculptures in one of two types of material: an extremely fine-grained yellow-beige stone, known as mudstone (which can take several forms, such as pyrophyllite or kaolinite) or an extremely fine-grained black or dark brown phyllite. Most portray Esoteric Buddhist deities; however, a few, such as this, represent Hindu divinities. Durga is portrayed as the sixteen-armed slayer of a buffalo inhabited by the fierce demon Mahisha. A threat to the world, Mahisha was invincible. Even the Hindu gods who had challenged him could not kill him. In desperation they created the goddess Durga to be their champion and gave her their weapons. A missing right hand held the spear with which she is about to stab Mahisha. In her other right hands she holds an arrow, sword, chisel, hammer, thunderbolt, elephant goad, and war discus. The objects in her left hands are a shield, bow, bell, mirror, and noose. Durga has just severed the buffalo's head with her many weapons. Mahisha, in the form of a tiny, chubby man, his head backed by snake heads, emerges from the buffalo's decapitated body and looks up admiringly at the warlike but beautiful Durga even as his toes are being bitten by her lion. Durga smiles serenely as she hoists Mahisha by his hair and treads gracefully on the buffalo's body. All of these narrative details are skillfully composed and placed on a double-lotus base in a carving no larger than a human hand. This sculpture must rank as one of the finest known Indian miniatures. Its astonishing plasticity and subtlety make it comparable to the finest large-scale Pala-period sculptures, while its size affords the viewer the delights of personal discovery.

    Central Indian Ganesha sandstone, 11th-12th century Ackland Fund, 85.2.1 Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Ganesha from India Chinese, Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644 Guan Yu wood, lacquer and lacquer paste, polychrome and gold, leather and hair, 1490s The William A. Whitaker Foundation Art Fund, 95.2 Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Guan Yu from China Standing Buddha, Gupta period (ca. 319500), 5th century Uttar Pradesh, Mathura, India Mottled red sandstone; H. 33 11/16 in. (85.5 cm), W. 16 3/4 in. (42.5 cm) Purchase, Enid A. Haupt Gift, 1979 (1979.6) Metropolitan Museum of Art www.metmuseum.org Buddha from India Wisdom King Fudo (Fudo Myo-o), Heian period (7941185), 12th century Kyoto, Japan Joined-woodblock construction with pigments; H. 63 3/4 in. (162 cm) The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975 (1975.268.163) Metropolitan Museum of Art www.metmuseum.org Fudo from Japan Seated Buddha, Tang dynasty (618907), ca. 650 China Dry lacquer with traces of gilt and polychrome pigments; 38 x 27 in. (96.5 x 68.6 cm) Rogers Fund, 1919 (19.186) Metropolitan Museum of Art www.metmuseum.org Buddha from China Krishna Battles the Armies of the Demon Naraka: Page from a Dispersed Bhagavata Purana, ca. 152030 Delhi-Agra area, India Ink and opaque watercolor on paper; 7 x 9 1/8 in. (17.78 x 23.18 cm) Purchase, Lita Annenberg Hazen Charitable Trust Gift, 1985 (1985.34) Metropolitan Museum of Art www.metmuseum.org Krishna from India Seated Ganesha, 14th15th century Orissa, India Ivory; H. 7 1/4 in. (18.4 cm), W. 4 3/4 in. (12.1 cm) Gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Klejman, 1964 (64.102) Metropolitan Museum of Art www.metmuseum.org Ganesha from India Shiva as Lord of Dance (Nataraja), Chola period (8801279), ca. 11th century Tamil Nadu, India Copper alloy; H. 26 7/8 in. (68.3 cm), Diam. 22 1/4 in. (56.5 cm) Gift of R. H. Ellsworth Ltd., in hon Metropolitan Museum of Art www.metmuseum.org Shiva from India Standing Parvati, Chola period (8801279), ca. first quarter of the 10th century Tamil Nadu, India Copper alloy; H. 27 3/8 in. (69.5 cm) Bequest of Cora Timken Burnett, 1956 (57.51.3) Metropolitan Museum of Art www.metmuseum.org Parvati from India Standing Bodhisattva Maitreya (The Bodhisattva of the Future), 9th10th century Nepal Copper alloy with gilding and color; H. 26 (66 cm), W. 8 1/4 in. (20.9 cm) Rogers Fund, 1982 (1982.220.12) Metropolitan Museum of Art www.metmuseum.org Bodhisattva from Nepal Portrait of Jnanatapa surrounded by lamas and mahasiddhas, 14th century eastern Tibet Distemper on cloth; 27 x 21 1/2 in. (68.6 x 54.6 cm) Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 1987 (1987.144) Metropolitan Museum of Art www.metmuseum.org Jnanatapa from Tibet Yama, mid17thearly 18th century Tibet Ink, distemper, and gold on cloth; 72 3/8 x 46 5/8 in. (183.8 x 118.4 cm) Purchase, Florance Waterbury Bequest, 1969 (69.71) Metropolitan Museum of Art www.metmuseum.org Yama from Tibet Four-armed Avalokiteshvara (The Bodhisattva of Infinite Compassion), ca. second quarter of the 8th century Prakhon Chai, Buriram Province, Thailand Bronze with silver and black glass or obsidian inlay in eyes; H. 56 in. (142.2 cm) Rogers Fund, 1967 (67.234) Metropolitan Museum of Art www.metmuseum.org Avalokiteshvara from Thailand Avalokiteshvara, Angkor period (8021431)-, fourth quarter of the 10thfirst quarter of the 11th century; Khmer style of Banteay Shrei Cambodia or Thailand Bronze with silver inlay; H. 22 3/4 in. (57.8 cm) Purchase, The Annenberg Foundation Gift, 1992 (1992.336) Metropolitan Museum of Art www.metmuseum.org Avalokiteshvara from Cambodia Krishna on Garuda, Central Javanese period (ca. 730ca. 930), second half of the 9th century Java, Indonesia Bronze; H. 15 7/16 in. (39.2 cm) Purchase, Lita Annenberg Hazen Charitable Trust Gift, 1992 (1992.135) Metropolitan Museum of Art www.metmuseum.org Krishna on Garuda from Indonesia Bust of warrior, Kofun period (3rd7th century), 5th6th century Kanto region, Japan Earthenware with painted, incised, and applied decoration; H. 13 1/8 in. (33.3 cm), W. 10 7/8 in. (27.6 cm) The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975 (1975.268.414) Metropolitan Museum of Art www.metmuseum.org Warrior from Japan Female dancer, 2nd century B. C.; Early Western Han dynasty (206 B. C.-A. D. 9) Chinese; China Earthenware with slip and pigments; H. 21 in. (53.3 cm) Charlotte C. and John C. Weber Collection, Gift of Charlotte C. and John C. Weber, 1992 (1992.165.19) Metropolitan Museum of Art www.metmuseum.org Dancer from China A Lady Playing the Tanpura, ca.173040 Kishangarh, Rajasthan, India Ink, gold, opaque and transparent watercolor on paper; 18 1/2 x 13 1/4 in. (47 x 33.66 cm) Fletcher Fund, 1996 (1996.100.1) Metropolitan Museum of Art www.metmuseum.org Tanpura Player from India Playing Weiqi at the Water Pavillion, Hanging scroll, mid20th century Fu Baoshi (Chinese, 19041965) China Hanging scroll; ink and color on Korean paper; 49 3/4 x 29 1/2 in. (126.4 x 74.9 cm) Gift of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, in memory of La Ferne Hatfield Ellsworth, 1988 (1988.324.3) Metropolitan Museum of Art www.metmuseum.org Weigi Players from China