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Woman Holding a Baby Elephant, 4th-5th century

Pakistan or Afghanistan, 300-499
Stucco
9-1/2 x 4-1/2 in. (24.1 x 11.4 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
F.1975.14.4.S

On view

This bust exhibits realistic modeling and delicately rendered facial features, which are much easier to execute in stucco than in stone. Curious
is the iconography of the woman holding a baby elephant: elephants symbolize virtues usually attributed to men, such as strength and virility. However, Maya, the Buddha’s mother, dreamt that a baby elephant entered her womb at the time of her son’s immaculate conception.


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