5900

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Gilded Indian Bronze Image of Durga

Western India
17th-18th century

height: 7.7cm, width: 5.5cm, depth: 3cm, weight: 145g

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Provenance

UK art market

This interesting, detailed and dynamic image of Durga shows the goddess slaying the buffalo demon Mahisasuramardini. The bronze has been plenty of ritual puja (prayer) wear and it has also been gilded (with much wear now to the gilding). Gilding is known but not common among Hindu bronzes.

A small lion is shown on the right side of the platform. The lion (or tiger sometimes) is the celestial vehicle (vahana) for Durga.

Durga has four arms and her attributes include a trident (shown planted into the back of the buffalo), a sword and a shield.

Durga, along with the goddesses Kali, Ambika, and Parvati, are associated with the Hinduist Shakta cult which emerged in the 9th century and which focussed on female divine energy and the centrality of the Divine Mother.

References

Pal, P., Indian Sculpture, Volume 2 – 700-1800, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1988.

Pal, P., The Peaceful Liberators: Jain Art from India, Thames & Hudson/Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1995.

Pal, P., Art from the Indian Subcontinent: Asian Art at the Norton Simon Museum, Yale University Press, 2003.

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