Plaque of Sarasvati (goddess of learning and culture)

Seated female figure, posed frontally. She has four arms, two hold attributes (a manuscript and a rosary), one in the boon-giving gesture, the forth broken. Crowned and bejewelled, the image wears a long garland and is accompanied by a goose. There is a large perforation at either side of the figure and several small drill holes from previous attempts to repair the broken arm and the pedestal.

The surface is very weathered, rough, and checked as if exposed to the elements. It has an overall greyish color except for the face of the goddess, the foreparts of the goose, and at various breaks such as the right arm, knee, and at the left side of the pedestal. There are several small drill holes from attempts to repair the breaks to arm and pedestal and two large perforations which facilitated attachment to something, perhaps a prabhamandala or a shrine wall.

Historical period(s)
17th-18th century
Medium
Ivory
Dimensions
H x W x D: 14.4 x 10.7 x 4.3 cm (5 11/16 x 4 3/16 x 1 11/16 in)
Geography
Nepal
Credit Line
Long-term loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum; gift of John Gellatly, 1929.8.288
Collection
Long-term loan
Accession Number
LTS1985.1.288.1
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Sculpture
Type

Plaque

Keywords
Gellatly collection, goose, Hinduism, Nepal, Sarasvati
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Description

Seated female figure, posed frontally. She has four arms, two hold attributes (a manuscript and a rosary), one in the boon-giving gesture, the forth broken. Crowned and bejewelled, the image wears a long garland and is accompanied by a goose. There is a large perforation at either side of the figure and several small drill holes from previous attempts to repair the broken arm and the pedestal.

The surface is very weathered, rough, and checked as if exposed to the elements. It has an overall greyish color except for the face of the goddess, the foreparts of the goose, and at various breaks such as the right arm, knee, and at the left side of the pedestal. There are several small drill holes from attempts to repair the breaks to arm and pedestal and two large perforations which facilitated attachment to something, perhaps a prabhamandala or a shrine wall.

Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Whistler's Neighborhood
Google Cultural Institute
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