Kamadeva, the God of Love. India (Jammu and Kashmir, ancient kingdom of Kashmir). Second half of the 8th century. Though rarely represented in Kashmiri art, Kama, the god of love, is here identified by a wondrous mythical creature (makara), who spews arrows from its jaws. The bow and arrow and a pair of lovebirds are Kamadeva’s principal identifiers. This subject is a rare survivor from early medieval Kashmir.
Mother Goddess (Matrika) Post-Gupta period, mid- 6th century, India. One of a group of 7 mother goddesses sprung from a Hindu male god. Despite their beauty, matrikas represent dangerous and malevolent forces—the devourers of children and bearers of sickness and disease. Though integral to early temple iconography, their power was so threatening they were marginalized, consigned to shrines beyond city boundaries. Their combined power is understood to be embodied in the mother goddess, Durga.
Gupta Period (गुप्त राजवंश) fragment of a male head Terracotta India, Gupta period, 6th century Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC Terracotta India, Gupta period, 6th century Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC