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Tara, Goddess of Compassion

Artist/maker unknown, Mongolian

Made in Dolon Nor, Duolun County, Chahar Province, Inner Mongolia, China, Asia

18th - 19th century

Gilded bronze repoussé

Approximately: 45 x 38 x 26 inches (114.3 x 96.5 x 66 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

* Gallery 325, Asian Art, third floor (Imasogie Gallery)

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of John T. Morris, 1911

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Perhaps the largest statue from Dolonnor, Inner Mongolia in any American collection, this impressive image of White Tara, the Goddess of Compassion, was also among the first Tibetan-Buddhist objects to enter the Museum's collection. Eyes on Tara's forehead and in the palms of her hands and feet symbolize her ability to see everywhere and help all her devotees. Remnants of stems are visible at her elbows, indicating lotus flowers that once accompanied this piece. Originally she would also have worn earrings and a crown, each piece having been separately crafted and put on the sculpture as on a human body. Painted depictions of White Tara give an idea of how this image was once ornamented.

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* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.