The Art Institute of Chicago has on display a "Durga, Slayer of the Buffalo Titan" statue. This statue was added to the Art Institutes' collection in 1996 and labeled as a gift from an anonymous donor. This statue of Durga is a piece of ancient art which I feel represents the power and imagery of the "goddess." The statue is made of grey sandstone and is not all that large measuring in at around 61 centimeters tall. It is estimated that the statue of Durga is from the late 10th century which is also known by the Art Institute as the Koh Ker period. The statue is the color of worn concrete and has small chips in the sandstone. The image of Durga has a miraculous eight arms and an elaborate head dress. The statue itself is mounted on a piece of black marble which was likely done by the Art Institute. As for the statue itself, it is not in the best of conditions but is a piece of ancient Hindu art and culture. On the statue Durga is wearing a long robe, multiple bracelets, large earrings, and has her fists still clamped as if she just finished a battle. The image of the goddess on the statue shows the figure of a woman with very large breasts, much like many pieces of ancient Hindu art do. It is noticeable that in this statue of the goddess Durga has six of her arms raised in the air with fists, but her other two arms are holding out a plate as in an offering or such. The "Durga, Slayer of the Buffalo Titan" statue is a symmetrical sculpture in which Durga's face shows little facial expression or emotion. The statue contains mostly
curved smooth lines, but the sandstone outline has sharp edges. Durga is presented in a very elegant way, unlike many statues of her as a war goddess.
This "Durga, Slayer of the Buffalo Titan" statue has many puzzling qualities and brings to mind many questions. Bringing to light questions about Hindu culture and religion. Like who owned and used the statue of Durga? Well, this question cannot be answered for sure but...
Bibliography: SRV Associations, 2001.
Durga, Slayer of the Buffalo Titan. The Art Institute of Chicago: Art Access. 2005
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Namita Gokhale, The Book of Shiva. Penguin Global Publishing, 2001.
Egmont Books, 2004.
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