Balustrade with Yali - ROM2007_9624_1


Balustrade with Yali

Medium:stone, polychrome
Geography: Kandy area, Sri Lanka
Date: 16th century AD
72.5 x 145 x 12 cm
Object number: 2006.86.1
Credit Line: This acquisition is made possible by the generous support of the Louise Hawley Stone Strategic Acquisitions Fund
On view
Gallery Location:Sir Christopher Ondaatje South Asian Gallery
DescriptionThis sculpture is part of a pair that would have once flanked a staircase to a temple or palace. It depicts a mythical animal (composite lion and dragon) called a "Yali", considered protective and auspicious. As mythical animals, Yalis link the earthly realm with the realm of the gods. In this capacity, they often grace the entrances of sacred or important sites, serving as a symbolic transition from the outside world to the inner space. Wearing a necklace of bells, strings of pearls, and ornaments, this one projects from its open mouth a scalloped banister the ends in a circular spiral. A lotus is wedged between the banister and spiral, symbolizing spiritual elevation. The outline of the staircase that this piece once flanked is visible on the reverse of the stone.
South Asia
If you see an error or have additional information, please contact us by clicking here.