Railing Pillar: Goddess and an Amorous Couple

Railing Pillar: Goddess and an Amorous Couple
Artist:
India: Madhya Pradesh, Bharhut
Date:
c. 100 B.C.
Medium:
Sandstone 
Dimensions:
58 x 11 x 8-1/4 in. (147.3 x 27.9 x 21 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
F.1972.11.1.S 
Copyright:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
On View
Description

This pillar once belonged to the Great Stupa (reliquary mound) at Bharhut. The prominent female in the upper register is a goddess associated with fertility and nature, emphasized by her grasp of the mango tree, which becomes laden with ripened fruit at her touch. With her left hand, she points to an amorous couple (mithuna) in the lower register. In Indian art, images of loving couples embracing are auspicious motifs that symbolize prosperity and fecundity.

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