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A LARGE BRONZE FIGURE OF SHRI DEVI
A LARGE BRONZE FIGURE OF SHRI DEVI
A LARGE BRONZE FIGURE OF SHRI DEVI
A LARGE BRONZE FIGURE OF SHRI DEVI
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PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE MIDWEST COLLECTION
A LARGE BRONZE FIGURE OF SHRI DEVI

SOUTH INDIA, TAMIL NADU, VIJAYANAGARA PERIOD, 15TH CENTURY

Details
A LARGE BRONZE FIGURE OF SHRI DEVI
SOUTH INDIA, TAMIL NADU, VIJAYANAGARA PERIOD, 15TH CENTURY
27 ¾ in. (70.5 cm.) high
Provenance
William H. Wolff, New York, 4 June 1970.

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Lot Essay

The present figure can be identified as Shri Devi by the band worn around the goddess’s breasts and can be placed firmly in the fifteenth century, during the Vijayanagara period. The inheritors of the previous Chola tradition, the Vijayanagara empire incorporated many new stylistic elements into the casting of bronze figures, including a more emphasized tribhanga posture, elongated bodies, cylindrical limbs, narrower waists, and with goddesses in particular, fuller breasts and hips. Additionally, the karandamukuta crowns and hairstyles tend to be taller, while the jewelry and adornment became simpler compared to early Chola pieces.
Held in a private collection since 1970, this recently resurfaced work was discovered to be a companion piece to a large bronze figure of Vishnu in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago (acc. no. 1969.699). The two figures stand firmly upon near identical lotus bases and plinths, wear similarly fashioned dhotis with a pattern of alternating stippled and incised bands, and complimentary waist belts, channviras, and crowns. Based on the shift of her weight, the present figure would be positioned Vishnu’s proper right side. The current whereabouts of the image of Bhu Devi, which would have completed the trinity, is unknown. Given their great size, the three works together would have held a commanding presence in procession.

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