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Celestial Musician (Gandharva)

Period:
Western Chalukyan period
Date:
11th century
Culture:
India (Karnataka, possibly Dharwar)
Medium:
Slate
Dimensions:
H. 40 3/4 in. (103.5 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Gift of Florence and Herbert Irving, in honor of Philippe de Montebello, 2008
Accession Number:
2008.537
  • Description

    A semidivine celestial musician to the gods is shown playing a flute, standing beneath the canopy of a flowering tree. This bracket figure was intended to decorate a pillar capital of the interior of a Hindu temple of the western Chalukyas. Temples of the southern Deccan favored the use of such figures of celestial musicians and dancers, poised at an angle between the capital of a pillar and the temple's interior ceiling stones to form a bridge between the worldly and heavenly spheres, and to make explicit the notion of the temple as a heavenly palace.

  • Provenance

    Pan Asian Collection

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
38142

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