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Creator Nationality: Asian; Indian Sub-Continent; Indian
Creator Dates/Places: India
Creator Active Place: India
Creator Name-CRT: India, Mathura, Kushan, second half of 2nd century
Title: Torana Bracket with Salabhanjikas
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 150
Creation End Date: 199
Creation Date: second half of 2nd century
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: Red sandstone
Dimensions: Overall: 73.9cm x 57.2cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1971.15
Credit Line: John L. Severance Fund
Context: The sculptures executed in very deep relief on both sides of this architectural fragment show a lavishly bejeweled women under blossoming Sala trees. Dryads or tree goddesses, known as dohada or Salabhanjika (woman and Sala tree), are very popular in Indian folklore and are frequently represented in Mathura sculptures. By touching the tree, they spur it to bloom, thus symbolizing the transfer of the woman's fertile energy to nature, which is awakened from its dormancy. The sculpture's monumental size and the addorsed carving may indicate that it was an upper part of a stupa gateway (torana) pillar or bracket. The sculpture once portrayed a full-size figure whose remaining arm holds a tree branch overhead, while the missing arm probably rested on the hip. The goddesses wear heavy earrings, necklaces, armlets, and bangles. Their hairdos, with the texture of the hair indicated by finely incised lines, are a standard Kushana type, except that the knots of twisted hair are placed higher on the heads and are even more elaborate than usual. One of the figures also wears a jeweled band around her head. Strands of hair fall over the shoulders and onto the ample breasts. The faces, although partially damaged, display a perfect oval shape and regular, carefully executed Kushana facial features. Particularly striking is the vitality of the movement shown in the twist of the torsos, provoked by the high raised arms. In truly indigenous Indian fashion, there is no angularity of forms, as exemplified by the curvilinear outline of the arm and the gently curving branches of the Sala tree. Indeed, in their posture these figures have a rhythmic quality that recalls a dance pose, so characteristic of Indian sculpture at its best. S.C.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1971.15
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art
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