standing female figure holding a jewel in extended PL hand; holds PR hand open and down in blessing greeting; long robes with long, rippled sleeves; stands on red base

Shri-mahadevi (Kichijōten), first half 14th century

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Shri-mahadevi is a female Buddhist divinity with Hindu origins. In Hinduism, she is Lakshmi, a goddess associated with good fortune and the wife of Vishnu, one of Hinduism’s three principal gods. Chinese Buddhists, however, transformed her into a deva, a supernatural being that has extreme longevity but remains outside the realm of enlightenment and attempts to assist believers on the path toward salvation. Married to Vaishravana-deva, Guardian of the North, Shri-mahadevi likewise is associated with protection of the north, which was believed to be a dangerous direction inhabited by demons and other evils. In this Japanese sculpture, she wears a robe that was once brightly colored with floral patterns—clothing common among women in China’s Tang dynasty (618–907), a nod to her Chinese roots.

Details
Title
Shri-mahadevi (Kichijōten)
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2015.79.263a-e
Curator Approved

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standing female figure holding a jewel in extended PL hand; holds PR hand open and down in blessing greeting; long robes with long, rippled sleeves; stands on red base