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circa 11th century


Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Other Title
    Celestial being
    Place where the work was made
    Madhya Pradesh India
    circa 11th century
    Media category
    Materials used
    pink sandstone
    24.8 x 29.3 x 11.5 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Gift of the Estate of David Strachan 1995
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    This sculpture of Gandharva would have once adorned the outer wall or overdoor of a Hindu temple. In Hindu mythology, the Gandharvas are regarded as radiant beings that sing sweetly on the mountains, but may be dangerous especially at twilight when they roam about and haunt forest pools. They are attributed with great healing powers and are also associated with marriage and the protection of virgins. This Gandharva is depicted with a heart-shaped face and elaborately coiffed hair. His body glides through the air with one leg folded in and the other bent at the knee, neatly fitting into the square architectural moulding. With his arms raised and his palms are turned upward, it is as though he were lifting the weight of the temple into the heavens.

    Asian Art Department, AGNSW, October 1999

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

  • Provenance

    David Jones' Art Gallery, Sydney, 03 Nov 1969-27 Nov 1969, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, offered in the sale, Indian sculpture and painting, 3- 27 Nov1968, cat. no. 31.

    David Strachan, 28 Nov 1969-Nov 1970, Australia, purchased by David Strachan from David Jones Gallery (art dealership).

    Veronica Rowan, Nov 1970-1999, Canberra/Australian Capital Territory/Australia, by descent to Ms Rowan, sister of David Strachan. Donated to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1999.