We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Kubera, lord of wealth

16th century


Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    16th century
    Media category
    Materials used
    bronze, gold leaf
    12.0 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Gift of Sarah Mitchell in memory of her father Raymond Mitchell 2007
    South Building, lower level 1, Asian Lantern galleries
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    Kubera, also known as Vaishravana, is the Buddhist guardian of wealth and treasures. This role of the deity is underscored by the attribute in the figure's right hand, a 'nakula', or mongoose that spits coins and gems. The figure's rotund, corpulent form, as well as the rich crown and elaborate jewellery he wears, also allude to prosperity and wellbeing. Despite the direct references to material wealth, within the Buddhist context, the treasure that Kubera ultimately protects is religious teachings that will lead a practitioner to perfection.

    Asian Art Department, AGNSW, February 2007.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

    • Chaya Chandrasekhar with Jane Somerville, Look, 'Kubera: God of Wealth', p.27, Sydney, Nov 2007, 27 (colour illus.).

    • Jane Wynter (Editor), Foundation Newsletter #10, Sydney, Jul 2007, (colour illus.). The colour illus. is on the second last page of the newsletter.

  • Provenance

    Raymond Mitchell, pre Apr 2006, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia

    Sarah Mitchell, Apr 2006-2007, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, by descent. Donated to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Feb 2007.