Pediment with the face of Glory (Kirti-mukha)

Pediment with the face of Glory (Kirti-mukha)

c. 1000s

Sandstone

Overall: 50.8 x 94 cm (20 x 37 in.)

The Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 1988.102

Location

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Irises and pupils have been lightly incised into the bulging eyes.

Description

Throughout India, sculptures of horned mythic beasts spewing stylized foliage were built into temples, above the entryways, in line with the sanctum. Known as the “face (mukha) of glory (kirti),” the protective mask emanates divine energy from the heart of the temple. The scrolling vegetation flowing from the mouth visually references the unending bounty and success that derives from worship and devotions.

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