Indian Carved Sandstone Torso of a Male Diety

SKU: HQ.0041

Origin: India
Circa: 10th - 12th century AD
Dimensions: 27" Height x 9.5" Width x 7" Depth (68.6 cm x 24.1 cm x 17.8 cm) with stand
Medium: Sandstone

Deeply carved jewels of many layers and varied textures grace this symmetrical torso of a Hindu male deity, likely a Sun God. The vertically arranged ornaments on his torso are somewhat unique. However, the festooned belt and multi-banded necklaces clearly point to a medieval Indian origin of Rajasthan or Madhya Pradesh.

Property from the Collection of Eric Wesenberg, California. With Royal Athena Galleries New York 1985

Head, both arms, and legs from the knees down missing. Torso, waist, and upper legs fully intact in fine condition, with sumptuous detail, and superb carving displayed. With beautiful warm patina throughout and a slightly worn incised crosshatch pattern providing an intricate backdrop to the bejeweled upper body.

Without the head or attributes present, it is difficult to conclusively identify this deity. However, the foliate collar, elaborate festooned strands of pearls, garlands, and jewelry, as well as the corresponding upavita or sacred thread give us a probable identification of Surya, the Sun God. In addition, the upright and dignified posture remind us of his traditional depiction as the principle solar deity of Hinduism standing straight forward facing, elaborately bedecked in layered jewels, diaphanous robes, and a central quatrefoil pendant holding what would have been open lotus blossoms in each hand.

For similar iconography including jewelry, adornments, and festooned belt wear see A SANDSTONE MALE TORSO, Christies New York, May 10, 2016. For matching composition, earlier period, Pramod Chandra, The Sculpture of India, pp. 10, 75.



Indian Carved Sandstone Torso of a Male Diety


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