VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Kuvera
Vp 2924
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Kuvera, portrayed as a corpulent young man, appears very life-like. Seated in the Lalitasana posture, he leisurely rests on a pillow; his right hand shows the Varada gesture of charity, while the left hand clutches a sack of treasure. Kuvera’s permanent companion, a mongoose, is seen peering out of the opening in the front wall of the throne pedestal.

History of the Object
The stylistic treatment of the figure, the flaming nimbus and the foot resting on the lotus flower suggest inspiration by the Pala sculpture of Eastern India. Prototypes were brought to Java by monks, pilgrims, and perhaps also merchants during the period of intensive cultural contacts between India and Java. On Java, Hindus worshipped Kuvera as the God of Wealth, and so did the Buddhists, under the name Jambhala. Most of the small statues were probably placed on domestic altars.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Bronze 
Measurements
Height 14.3 cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Java 
Geography
Indonesia 
Time period
AD 10th century ~ AD 13th century 
Creation date
10th Century - 13th Century; Song Dynasty (960-1279) 
Function
Worship object 
Acquisition
National Gallery in Prague, acquired in 1963 
Copyright
(c) National Gallery in Prague 
Acknowledgements
Zdena Klimtova 
Owner
National Gallery in Prague, Collection of Oriental Art 
Museum
The National Gallery 
Credit line
 

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