Collections: Asian Art: Vasudhara

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

On View: Tankard

A tankard made out of valuable material was part of its owner's capital. In the eighteenth century, a tankard might cost more than the annua...

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.

    On View: Ceiling Light

    Victor Gruen, a revolutionary genius in the field of corporate branding and marketing, is now best known as the architect of America’s...

     

    Login to play

    Login with Google ID

    Forgot your password?

    Not a Posse member? Register

    Brooklyn Museum Posse:
    Exploring the collection

    When you join the posse, your tags comments and favorites will display with your attribution and save to your profile.

    Want to add this object to a set? Please join the Posse, or log in.

    close

    Vasudhara

    • Medium: Polychromed wood
    • Place Made: Nepal
    • Dates: 16th century
    • Dimensions: 49 x 23 in. (124.5 x 58.4 cm)  (show scale)
    • Collections:Asian Art
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Accession Number: 86.137
    • Credit Line: Gift of Bertram H. Schaffner, M.D.
    • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
    • Caption: Vasudhara, 16th century. Polychromed wood, 49 x 23 in. (124.5 x 58.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Bertram H. Schaffner, M.D., 86.137. Creative Commons-BY
    • Image: front, 86.137_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    • Catalogue Description: A four-armed goddess holds a book (pustaka) in her upper left hand. Her right upper hand is in abhaya mudra (a gesture meaning "do not fear") while her lower right hand is in a variation on the varada mudra (wish-granting gesture). Her lower left hand may be in vitarka mudra (a teaching gesture), although in its pendant position it is more likely that it held something -- like the stem of a sheaf of corn -- that is now gone. The Goddess wears a colorfully striped lower garment and a crown with a high coiffure. The original color of the body, now faded, was white or yellow. The palms of her hands are painted red. The figure is executed in the round. Eight small figures standing in niches are carved into the base. Originally identified as Sarasvati, the Hindu goddess of wisdom, because of the small book she carries, it is more likely that this figure represents Vasudhara, a Buddhist goddess of wealth and abundance. Much worshipped in Nepal, Vasudhara is usually represented with golden skin and abundant jewelry. She is often depicted holding a book, although it is not her primary attribute. Most often she makes the wish-granting gesture (varada mudra) and holds a sheaf of corn (possibly now missing from her lower left hand). Condition: Figure cracked in the back and left side of lotus base. Upper left arm reinforced by wooden prongs; upper right arm somewhat loose. Separate modern wood base. Polychrome surface has many scattered old losses, particularly on the lower part of head at the front, and on front of lower right arm. Scattered small losses to wood with large piece out at top of upper right arm. Both upper arms are pieces and joints open. Also received separate modern wood base, painted brown, unweighted. (Cube-shaped peg under base of figure fits separate base).
    • Record Completeness: Best (82%)
    advanced 106,008 records currently online.

    Separate each tag with a space: painting portrait.

    Or join words together in one tag by using double quotes: "Brooklyn Museum."


    Tags by Posse members
    • teeds (5)
      • 16th century
      • Vasudhara
      • Pustaka
      • Abhaya Mudra
      • Varada Mudra
    • Himalayanbuddhistart (6)
      • Nepalese
      • sculpture
      • late Malla
      • polychrome wood
      • Nepal
      • buddhist
    Recent Comments
    05:39 09/9/2010
    The title says Sarasvati, but the text says Vasudhara. One or the other is incorrect. Or both?
    By Doug White
    08:40 04/18/2011
    Sarasvati in both Hindu and Buddhist traditions would be the goddess of knowledge, arts and wisdom...but here the Museum's description refers to her as a goddess of wealth. A clarification from the Museum on this point would be appropriate.
    13:16 04/20/2011
    Hi Doug, Raj - The curator has updated the catalog description field to indicate "Originally identified as Sarasvati, the Hindu goddess of wisdom, because of the small book she carries, it is more likely that this figure represents Vasudhara, a Buddhist goddess of wealth and abundance." The object's title will also change soon, so things are more clear, but that change will take longer to show up in our system. Thanks for the comments so we could clarify.



    Please review the comment guidelines before posting.

    Before you comment...

    We get a lot of comments, so before you post yours, check to see if your issue is addressed by one of the questions below. Click on a question to see our answer:

    Why are some objects not on view?

    The Museum’s permanent collections are very large and only a fraction of these can be on exhibition at any given time. Sometimes works are lent to other museums for special exhibitions; sometimes they are in the conservation laboratory for study or maintenance. Certain types of objects, such as watercolors, textiles, and photographs, are sensitive to light and begin to fade if they are exposed for too long, so their exhibition time is limited. Finally, as large as the Museum is, there is not enough room to display everything in the collections. In order to present our best works, collections are rotated periodically.

    How do I find out how much an object in the Brooklyn Museum collections is worth?

    The Museum does not disclose the monetary values of objects in its collections.

    Can you tell me the value of an artwork that I own?

    The Museum does not provide monetary appraisals. To determine the value of an object or to find an appraiser, you may contact the Art Dealers Association of America or the American Society of Appraisers.

    I own a similar object. Can you tell me more about it?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you own and as much information about it as you can, and we will provide any additional information we are able to find. Please note that research in our files is a lengthy process, and you may not have a response for some time.

    How would I go about lending or gifting a work to the Museum or seeing if the Museum is interested in purchasing a work that I own?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you would like us to consider, as well as all of the information you have about it, and your offer will be forwarded to the appropriate curator. The Brooklyn Museum collections are very rich, and we have many works that are not currently on exhibition; because of this, and because storage space is limited, we are very selective about adding works. However, the collection has become what it is today through the generosity of the public, and we continue to be grateful for this generosity, which can still lead to exciting new acquisitions.

    How can I get a reproduction of a work in your collection?

    Please see the Museum’s information on Image Services.

    How can I show my work to someone at the Museum or be considered for an exhibition?

    Please see the Museum’s Artist Submission Guidelines.

    Why do many objects not have photographs and/or complete descriptions?

    The Museum's collection is very large, and we are constantly in the process of adding photographs and descriptions to works that do not currently have them, or replacing photographs that have deteriorated beyond use and descriptions that are minimal or out of date. This is a long and expensive process that takes time.

    How can I find a conservator or get advice on how to treat my artwork?

    Please visit the American Institute for Conservation, which has a feature on how to find a conservator.

    I have a comment or question which is not included in this list.

    Join the posse or log in to work with our collections. Your tags, comments and favorites will display with your attribution.