Hanuman Conversing, Copper alloy, India (Tamil Nadu)

Hanuman Conversing

Chola period
11th century
India (Tamil Nadu)
Copper alloy
H. 25 3/8 in. (64.5 cm); W. 7 1/4 in. (18.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Bequests of Mary Clarke Thompson, Fanny Shapiro, Susan Dwight Bliss, Isaac D. Fletcher, William Gedney Beatty, John L. Cadwalader and Kate Read Blacque, Gifts of Mrs. Samuel T. Peters, Ida H. Ogilvie, Samuel T. Peters and H. R. Bishop, F. C. Bishop and O. M. Bishop, Rogers, Seymour and Fletcher Funds, and other gifts, funds and bequests from various donors, by exchange, 1982
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 240
One of the most appealing Hindu deities, Hanuman’s bravery, courage, and loyalty throughout the Ramayana epic are renowned. Here, he gestures obeisance to Rama with his raised left hand while engaging in animated discussion with his Lord. This sculpture was part of an ensemble with Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana at its center. It was included among an assemblage of processional icons kept by Vaishnava temples in South India for festival use. Typical of Chola-period representations, Hanuman has assumed anthropomorphic form, with only his face and tail confirming his monkey identity. Among the finest bronze images of Hanuman to have survived from the Chola kingdom of south India, this work embodies his noble, virtuous character with great sensitivity.
Christian Humann , New York (by 1977 until d. 1981; estate sale by Ellsworth to MMA); [ R. H. Ellsworth Ltd. , New York, 1982, sold to MMA]
New York. Asia Society. "Monkey," April 26, 1995–September 10, 1995.

Barcelona. Casa Àsia. "Divine Presence: Arts of India and the Himalayas," March 15, 2003–June 22, 2003.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Epic India: Scenes from the Ramayana," March 30, 2010–September 19, 2010.