Goddess Hariti Seated Holding a Child

Art Institute of Chicago

About the work

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This stone carving of the goddess Hariti demonstrates the strong Greek influence on Gandharan art. She sits with a baby in her lap, and wears anklets, bracelets, heavy earrings, and an elaborate updo. Her voluminous body, with its overall rectangular shape, reflects conventions of Hellenistic sculpture. The drapery of her garment also reminds us of clothing in Greek art. However, the goddess raises her palm to the viewer in what seems to be the abhaya mudra, a convention of Hindu iconography that reminds the viewer to be without fear.

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