This fine image of the monkey deity Hanuman is particularly noteworthy for its tail which rises from behind the god and reaches above his head in a long, fine, ‘S’-shaped crook. The deity stands on a tiered square platform with his hands clasped before him in anjali mudra.
He is bare-chested but wears a fringed dhoti; a prominent necklace; arm bands, bracelets and anklets; and a tiered headdress.
Only the tail and head betray monkey features; the body is largely human.
Hanuman is a popular god all over Hindu India but is particularly ubiquitous in the South. He is a key figure in the Ramayana epic as the head of the monkey army and is charged with capturing the heroine Sita from the evil Ravana.
The image here has a fine, glossy chocolate patina. The contours have been softened by ritual handling and puja wear. There are no major losses or repairs.
Pal, P., Indian Sculpture, Volume 2 – 700-1800, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1988.
Pal, P., Art from the Indian Subcontinent: Asian Art at the Norton Simon Museum, Yale University Press, 2003.