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Crowns of the Vajra Masters: Ritual Art of Nepal

Lamp Bearer, Presumed Portrait of Lady Bharamayi
Nepal, Dated by inscription 1761
Gilt-copper alloy
H. 8 3/8 in. (21.3 cm)

Zimmerman Family Collection, Promised Gift of the Zimmerman Family

The female donor is named in the inscription as Bharamayi, who had this image made “by her own volition.” She is described as bearing three lamps to honor her family deity, who is not named. This portrait as lamp bearer was likely intended as an offering to the deity worshipped in the family shrine. There is no immediate way of discerning if her deity was Brahmanical or Buddhist.

Inscription: Inscription (around base): on the fourteenth of the bright half of Mārgaśirṣa, in the year 882 [November–December 1761], Bharamayī of Pode, of her own volition, donated this statue of herself with three lamps in honor of her lineage deity. May it be auspicious for all time.

Exhibition History
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Crowns of the Vajra Masters: Ritual Art of Nepal," December 16, 2017–December 16, 2018.