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Female Torso

Asian Art

On View: Asian Galleries, Arts of South Asia, 2nd floor
MEDIUM Sandstone
  • Possible Place Made: Uttar Pradesh, India
  • DATES 9th–10th century C.E.
    DIMENSIONS overall: 29 1/2 x 15 x 10 in., 155 lb. (74.9 x 38.1 x 25.4 cm, 70.31 kg)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Shields
    PROVENANCE Prior provenance not yet documented; before 1970, reportedly acquired by a Paris gallery; before 1970, reportedly acquired by an American private collection; by 1971, acquired by Cordier & Ekstrom, Inc., New York, NY; 1971, purchased from Cordier & Ekstrom, Inc. by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Shields; 1971, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Shields to the Brooklyn Museum.
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION The figure represents a headless standing female, full breasted, narrow-waisted and with large hips. The upper torso, frontally treated, is adorned with two necklaces, one short with a pendant extending down to the left hip and a long necklace made of beads. The lower part of the torso is turned slightly toward the figure's left with the left leg bent at the knee. The right leg remains straight giving the impression that the weight of the figure rests on it. Around the hips is a belt with pendants hanging over her tight skirt. She wears also a bicep ornament. The right hand is hanging down along the side of the body supporting a scarf that she was wearing across the shoulders. The left hand bent at the elbow, and now broken off slightly beyond the elbow, was supporting the same scarf on the other side. This sort of figure is commonly found on the exterior of northern Indian stone temples, and might represent a specific goddess, but is more likely to represent a more generic "beauty." Such unnamed female figures served to bring good fortune to the temple and to ward off evil; they also represented part of the heavenly retinue of the gods. Condition: The statue is headless and feet and left hand are broken off. The stone is lightly chipped on both breasts and on the left leg's knee.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Asian Galleries, Arts of South Asia, 2nd floor
    CAPTION Female Torso, 9th–10th century C.E. Sandstone, overall: 29 1/2 x 15 x 10 in., 155 lb. (74.9 x 38.1 x 25.4 cm, 70.31 kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Shields, 71.9. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 71.9_PS9.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 71.9_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2014
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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