VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Celestial beauty
2001.70.1
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Although this sculptural piece is a fragment with its limbs missing, the fine curve of the slender body (the so-called tribhanga posture of Hindu iconography), the pensive look of the lotus-shaped eyes, the full breasts and the wasp-waist fulfill all the criteria of the ideal of Indian beauty. Celestial beauties with their pronouncedly feminine or often erotic features, contrasted to their sacred environments, are peculiar masterpieces of Indian art.

History of the Object
Similar sculptures decorate in great numbers the pillared halls and outer walls of Hindu and Jaina temples that were mostly built under the Hindu dynasties in the 10th-16th centuries. As Hindu and Jaina temples were conceived as imitations of Mount Meru, the heavenly abode of gods, the sculptural representations of deities, goddesses and celestial beings on their walls served to create a complete image of this paradise. Later on, after the downfall of Hindu dynasties that had been great patrons of art and architecture, many temples were demolished by Muslim invaders or collapsed due to neglect or weak construction. Many of their sculptural decorations found their way into museums or private collections.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Sandstone 
Measurements
Height 27.8 cm  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
India; North India 
Geography
India 
Time period
AD 10th century ~ AD 11th century 
Creation date
10th Century -11th Century 
Function
Architectural decoration; part of the iconographic programme of a Hindu temple. 
Acquisition
Purchased from a private individual in 2001. 
Copyright
No information, data or images may be published or reproduced without written permission of the Ferenc Hopp Museum of Eastern Asiatic Arts, Budapest. 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Hungarian State; property management by the Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest; in the Collection of the Ferenc Hopp Museum of Eastern Asiatic Arts, Budapest. 
Museum
Ferenc Hopp Museum of Eastern Asiatic Arts 
Credit line
Description by Zsuzsanna Renner, Indologist, Director, Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest 

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    AD 18th century ~ AD 18th century
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