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    Sale 7571

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    8 April 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 289

    AN IVORY MADONNA

    GOA, INDIA, LATE 17TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    AN IVORY MADONNA
    GOA, INDIA, LATE 17TH CENTURY
    Standing with her arms outstretched, her right hand holding a small knop between thumb and forefinger, wearing long delicately carved tunic with star and roundel decoration, her face carefully engraved and framed with long flowing hair, with the remains of red paint and gilding, constructed from several pieces of ivory pinned together, minor losses, on wooden base
    11¼in. (28.2cm.) high


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    This unusually large ivory Madonna shows many characteristics of Portuguese-Indian carving. The beautifully shaped face with its short nose and small, straight mouth are typical facial features. The resulting elegance is underlined in the delicate treatment of the mantle as a hybrid between Indian sari-like and European styles. The linear drapery formerly adorned with stars as well as traces of gilding in the hair that is dressed in long strands, a crown (presumably missing here), and a certain immobility of the figure can also be seen on the Statuette of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception at the Walters Art Gallery (Richard H. Randall Jr., Masterpieces of Ivory from the Walters Art Gallery, London, 1985, cat.469 , pl.98, p.278). The gesture of her right hand, which was very probably mirrored in the left, is taken from traditional Indian sculpture. It shows varada mudra, the gesture of granting wishes. In statues of Buddha Sakyamuni it symbolizes the summoning of Heaven as witness to his sainthood.

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