Chalukya Schist Sculpture of a Celestial Entertainer

SKU X.0457

11th Century AD to 12th Century AD


24″ (61.0cm) high x 18″ (45.7cm) wide




Southern India

Gallery Location



This large, impressive schist sculpture of a celestial entertainer was created during the Kalyani Chalukya Dynasty. It would have likely once decorated a temple structure, the interiors and exteriors of which were traditionally adorned with idealized representations of women. Such sculptures would have served as entertainment for the gods while reminding the visitors of the sanctity of the temple. She has an elegant, rhythmic posture that suggests she is moving her body to the beat of the music. Her body is festooned in jewelry, including a necklace that covers her shoulders with tassels and two other longer necklaces, the bottoms of which have broken away. She also wears a skirt with beaded decorations. Her waist is thin, while her shoulders are broad and her breasts are perfectly spherical, formal attributes that are characteristic of Indian sculpture of this period, specifically from the region of Karnataka or Mysore. This work reflects the influence that the art of the Chola Dynasty of Tamil Nadu had on their neighbors.

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