VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Parvati
IM.147-1921
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

In this sculpture the Hindu goddess Parvati, consort of Siva is represented. It was customary in Javanese sculpture of this period to identify local rulers with cult deities and it is possible that this image of Parvati is intended to represent a deceased east Javanese queen. She is shown in a four-armed form, holding a closed lotus bud in one raised hand, possibly a mortuary symbol, and a fly-whisk in the other. Her lower hands are clasped together and her entire figure is bordered with a flame-pattern. The faceted crown and diadem is distinctly east Javanese and the figure is richly jewelled. Parvati stands on a lotus platform and is flanked by flowering vases.

History of the Object

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Stone 
Measurements
Width 21.59cm Height 53.9cm  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Indonesia; East java; Majapahit 
Geography
Indonesia 
Time period
AD 15th century ~ AD 15th century 
Creation date
15th Century; early 
Function
 
Acquisition
Purchased from Mrs. H. Joly Henri Joly (1876-1920) was a French engineer who developed a great love of the arts of Japan. He came to London in 1897 and wrote and lectured extensively, particularly on sword-fittings. Little is known of the other areas of his non-Japanese collections, but we may assume that this fine sculpture shows another aspect of his interest in the arts. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Victoria and Albert Museum 
Museum
Victoria and Albert Museum 
Credit line
© V&A Images, Victoria and Albert Museum, London 

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