Sandstone figure of a Hindu goddess


British Museum

British Museum

While this multi-armed figure of a Hindu goddess appears to the modern viewer as a sensuous image, it is more appropriately understood as a stereotyped representation of fertility and perfection.The image is probably from the exterior of an Indian temple, possibly placed originally within a niche or an architectural frame. Similar sculptures of celestial female beings are found on the tenth- and eleventh-century temples at Khajuraho in central north India, The sculptural style and sandstone of this piece indicates that it is from northern Rajasthan.The artist Jacob Epstein (1880-1959) kept this figure in his studio as a model of beauty and source of inspiration.

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  • Title: Sandstone figure of a Hindu goddess
  • Date Created: 1000/1099
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 70.00cm (object only); Width: 41.00cm; Depth: 20.00cm; Height: 80.00cm (approx on mount); Width: 40.00cm; Depth: 27.00cm; Weight: 31.00kg; Weight: 24.00kg (mount); Weight: 55.00kg (object on mount); Height: 5.00cm (Mount only)
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: carved
  • Subject: deity
  • Registration number: 1962,0420.1
  • Production place: Made in Rajasthan
  • Place: Found/Acquired India
  • Material: sandstone
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Epstein, Jacob. Purchased through Barnett-Janner, Davis & Janner. Funded by Brooke Sewell Permanent Fund