Indian and Himalayan Art
Yakshi (Female Nature Deity), fragment of a railing pillarMade in Uttar Pradesh, Mathura Region, India, Asia
Kushan Dynasty (1 BCE-299 CE), c. 2nd century BCE
Artist/maker unknown, India
|Purchased with funds contributed by Miss Anna Warren Ingersoll, Nelson Rockefeller, R. Sturgis Ingersoll, Mrs. Rodolphe Meyer de Schauensee, Dr. I. S. Ravdin, Mrs. Stella Elkins Tyler, Louis E. Stern, Mr. and Mrs. Lionel Levy, Mrs. Flagler Harris, and with funds from the bequest of Sophia Cadwalader, funds from the proceeds of the sale of deaccessioned works of art, the George W.B. Taylor Fund, the John T. Morris Fund, the John H. McFadden, Jr., Fund, the Popular Subscription Fund, and the Lisa Norris Elkins Fund from the Stella Kramrisch Collection, 1956|
LabelYakshis are female nature spirits who embody fertility and prosperity. They are often shown with trees, flowers, and snakes, suggesting a transfer of creative energy between nature and humanity. It is likely that they were worshiped as local goddesses. In early Indian art, images of yakshis frequently adorned railing posts or acted as brackets for railing gateways. This figure is shown with her hands folded in prayer.
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