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Creator Nationality: Asian; Indian Sub-Continent; Indian
Creator Dates/Places: India
Creator Active Place: India
Creator Name-CRT: India, south, probably from region of Pudokkatai, early Chola Dynasty, first half of 10th century
Title: Bhu Devi
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 900
Creation End Date: 950
Creation Date: first half of 10th century
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: Granite
Dimensions: Overall: 129.54cm x 38.1cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1963.104.3
Credit Line: John L. Severance Fund
Context: This important large trinity of the Hindu god Vishnu (the preserver) with his two consorts, Shri (the goddess of beauty and wealth) and Bhumi (the earth goddess), is representative of the early phase of Chola art. The Chola empire in South India flourished from the tenth through the thirteenth centuries. The sensitive sculptural rendering of the images--the slightly more hieratic central figure of Vishnu and his gracefully swaying companions--is typical of the early Chola period. The four-armed Vishnu stands erect on a double-lotus base (in samabhanga stance) with his front right arm in a gesture of assurance (abhaya) and his left resting on his hip (katyavalambita hasta). His upper right arm carries a wheel (chakra) and the left a conch (sanka). He wears a high crown (kiritamakuta) and elaborate jewelry: earrings, necklaces, sacred thread, armlets, bracelets, anklets, and a girdle with lion's mask (simhamukha). His companions' postures, however, are relaxed, their inner hands hold lotus buds, outer ones rest on their hips in the katyavalambita gesture. Bhumi Devi, in addition to regular ornaments, wears a jeweled breastband typical of this goddess. While granite is one of the hardest stones to work, it did not seem to have restrained the Chola artist'screativity in this instance. The images at once display physical beauty (the richness of ornamentation contrasting very effectively with the "softness" of the flesh) and spiritual content. The elegant elongations of the figures, and the grace and ease that permeate these pieces, classify them as some of the most accomplished sculptural representations of the Chola style. S.C.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1963.104.3
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art
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