Southeast Asia, India, ca. 10th to 12th century CE. A carved pink sandstone relief panel depicting the Hindu deity Brahma. Quite a rare representation as most sculptures depict Brahma with four heads. Here we see one; however, the piece possesses many other attributes that identify it as Brahma. First off, he is depicted with a beard, as is the case with most representations. This alone would not be enough to convince me that it is Brahma, however, the figure has several other attributes of Brahma as well, including the water pot in the lower left hand; the lower right hand is open bestowing blessings; one of the upper hands is holding a scroll (usually believed to be of the Vedas, though Shivites believe this scroll to be the Ramayama and Vishnuites believe it to be the Baghavad Gita), and finally, in his right upper hand he holds a club-like staff or scepter symbolizing a regal presence. Brahma is one of the three principle deities of the Hindu pantheon comprised of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Together these gods respectively represent the creative, preservative, and destructive energies. Brahma, who is regarded as the master of the universe, was the primeval male god who created the world and all forms of life. A stupendous example, finely carved in high and low relief with remarkable detail, skillfully conveying the figure's movement and expression! Size: 21-1/2" x 10" x 4-3/4" (54.6 x 25.4 x 12.1 cm)
Condition: Minor losses to some areas as shown, but a fine and unusual representation. Not your typical Brahma!
Provenance: Ex-private New York City collection
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