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A LARGE AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT BUFF SANDSTONE PANEL DEPICTING REVANTA AND HIS ENTOURAGE

CENTRAL INDIA, PRATIHARA PERIOD, 8TH CENTURY

Details
A LARGE AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT BUFF SANDSTONE PANEL DEPICTING REVANTA AND HIS ENTOURAGE
CENTRAL INDIA, PRATIHARA PERIOD, 8TH CENTURY
Deeply carved with a procession of three horse-riders with Revanta in the center holding the reins with his left hand, his face displaying a serene expression, his long hair in a cascade of curls secured with a tiara, to his front Pingala holding the pen and behind Danda holding the staff, surrounded by flute players and an attendant holding the parasol, the left side with Surya standing atop a female deity riding a lion, both hands holding a lotus flower, clad in dhoti, boots and specific mitre, the upper register with two groups of divinities, including the planetary deities with the large head of Rahu on the left side and Ganesha and Gajalakshmi amongst the group of five at right
30 x 53 in. (76 x 135 cm.)
Provenance
Acquired from Spink & Son, Ltd., London by 1999
Literature
G. Bhattacharya, "A Unique Narrative Stone Panel Illustrating Revanta," Forschungen zur Archaologie Aussereuropaischer Kulturen, 2003
Sale Room Notice
Please note this lot has been withdrawn from the sale.

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Anita Mehta
Anita Mehta

Lot Essay

This impressively carved frieze depicting an association of Revanta with Pingala and Dandanayaka is unique to sculptures of the Pratihara period in north-central India. The story, as related in chapter 79 of the Bhavisya Purana, describes the birth of Revanta as an equestrian deity (an Ashvin) by Surya, the god of the sun in union with Samjna, daughter of Visvakarman, the divine architect. Immediately upon birth, Revanta ran away with his father’s eighth horse, and the sun-god sent Pingala and Dandanayaka to recapture the horse. Being desirous to harm the horse in the process, Pingala and Dandanayaka were unable and Revanta remained the horse’s master. Surya then employed Revanta as the lord of horses and declared that anyone who beheld him would be blessed. For further discussion, see G. Bhattacharya, “A Unique Narrative Stone Panel Illustrating Revanta,” in South Asian Archaeology, 2003, p. 451 – 460. The present example depicts Revanta riding heroically on his horse, sheltered by a parasol held by a gana to proclaim his majesty. The characters’ association with the sun is represented through the image of Surya on the left, and with the Asvins through the three sensitively rendered horses. Ganesha and Gajalakshmi convey the sense of prosperity to all who behold Revanta’s image.

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