15 November 2001
THE PROPERTY OF A LADY
A CARVED IVORY FIGURE OF CHRIST
Ceylonese, 17th or early 18th Century
Warm brown colour to the ivory; right arm lacking; drill holes to the feet and hand; two further drill holes to the back.
6¼ in. (15 cm.) high
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M.M. Estella Marcos, Marfiles de las Provincias Ultramarinas Orientales de Espana y Portugal, Monterrey, 1997, nos. 104, 105, pp. 214-217.
The author of this figure demonstrates a thorough yet exaggerated understanding of anatomy with the soft and deep modelling of the sternum and rib cage. The torturously extended abdomen and the ribs protruding from the back coupled with the complex and stylised rendition of the hair and perizonium exemplify the artist's sophisticated approach to details. With the head dropped over the right shoulder and the closed eyes, the artist emphasises more than an image of the divine Christ, it is the image of a man, with the strained musculature of the arms and the emaciated legs.
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