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Sculpture from the Kushan Period
Sculpture from North India, 5th-7th Centuries
Jain sculpture
Sculpture of the Pala Period
Stone Sculpture from Hindu Temples
Sculptures from South India, 8th-9th Centuries
Bronze Sculpture of the Chola Period
Art for the Mughal and Rajput Courts
Hindu Temple Hangings
Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Sculpture from Nepal
Sculpture from the Kushan Period
Two Bodhisattvas from Sri Lanka
Celestial Entertainer
India, Rajasthan or Uttar Pradesh; 11th century
H. 21 1/4 in. (54 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
Entertainers, particularly beautiful women, are among the most common images on Hindu temples. They entertain the gods and designate the area within as a special palace or heaven, where music and dance are available. This figure twists dramatically in a dance pose and lifts one hand above her head to touch some fruit, which two small monkeys are eating. The combination of a voluptuous woman and a tree appears in Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain art, primarily as a symbol of fertility. The three-dimensionality of this image suggests that it may once have served as a bracket figure for a pillar, probably in the interior of a temple.
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