Figurine of the Hindu Saint Appar
13th century or later
height: 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm)
Bequest of Samuel Eilenberg
Prior to 1998, provenance not yet documented; by 1998, acquired by Samuel Eilenberg of New York; 1998, bequeathed by Samuel Eilenberg to the Brooklyn Museum; April 6, 2021, accessioned by the Brooklyn Museum.
Standing male figure, apparently a youth, with his hands joined in a gesture of reverence or prayer (anjali mudra), a large spoon-like spade tucked under one arm.
The posture and the spade indicate that this image depicts the Shaiva saint Appar, who lived in Tamil Nadu (southern India) in the 7th century. He is best known for composing hymns to the god Shiva, but the spade represents his habit of clearing overgrowth from around the many temples that he visited during his travels.
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