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    Sale 12255

    The Lahiri Collection: Indian and Himalayan Art, Ancient and Modern

    15 March 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 65

    A BLACK STONE HEAD OF A JAIN TIRTHANKARA

    INDIA, GUJARAT, 12TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A BLACK STONE HEAD OF A JAIN TIRTHANKARA
    INDIA, GUJARAT, 12TH CENTURY
    The head carved in a serene expression, with almond-shaped eyes below raised arched eyebrows, straight nose, and slightly pouting lips, with the hair in tight curls pulled over the ushnisha
    11 ½ in. (29 cm.) high


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    Jainism is propagated through the stories of twenty-four tirthankaras, figures who have conquered samsara (the cycle of death and rebirth) and provide others a bridge to follow them to moksha (liberation). This exquisite head carved in highly polished black stone epitomizes the elegance and fineness of Northwestern Indian sculpture of the period. The soft rounded facial contours are juxtaposed with strongly pronounced features. The elongated eyes are emphasized by undulating arched brows. The long straight nose contrasts the small bow-shaped mouth and round protruding chin. Even the symmetrically arranged tight curls of the hair are both precise and delicate, the overall effect creating an idealized image that is benevolently powerful.

    Compare with a slightly later sculpture of a Jina in the Dallas Museum of Art with nearly identical features, particularly the modeling of the eyebrows and nose (DMA 2003.7.1).

    Provenance

    Private Collection, London, formed 1960s - early 1980s, by repute
    Acquired in 2013