Indian Sandstone Figure of a Yakshi

12342. Indian Sandstone Figure of a Yakshi

Central India; circa 11th to 12th century AD

Carved from a buff sandstone, this celestial maiden with sheer garments and full bosom has a leg raised in mid-dance. Above her, a sal tree with climbing monkeys. It was said that the mere touch of a Yakshi could cause a fruit tree to instantly bloom.

Size: 33-1/2 (85cm) high, excluding base.

Condition: Overall, very nice, losses, as shown. Provenance: Boston, MA Collection; In storage since 1992.

In Indian mythology, the yakshi is first and foremost a fertility symbol. She is not only the bride of the tree, but she stands for the sap of the tree, the life-fluid, and she may therefore by association be interpreted as emblematic of the life-fluid of all creation, as typified by the great waters, in which all life was believed to have its origin. The male counterparts of the yakshis, or yakshas, are also represented on the Bharhut railing, and Kuvera, chief of the yakshas and guardian of the north, is among the deities precisely identified by an inscription.” (The Art and Architecture of India; Pelican History of Art; page 80-82)


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