India, state of Bihar or West Bengal, Pala period, 9th century. Bronze. Lent by Dr. Siddharth Bhansali

This exquisite little bronze image dating to the ninth century, shows Ambika seated on a double-lotus set upon a tall pedestal. One infant stands playfully in her lap while the second sits cross-legged on the opposite side beside her lotus throne. With one hand she supports a child and with the other holds a bunch of mangoes. The articulation of the limbs and the detailed treatment of the jewelry and drapery pattern reflect the work of a master artist. Most likely the bronze was commissioned for a home shrine, perhaps that of the devotee included along the lower left support of the pedestal.