Fragment of a donor group possibly depicting Vasudeva, Subhadra, and Balarama

Details

  • Title

    Fragment of a donor group possibly depicting Vasudeva, Subhadra, and Balarama

  • Associated place

    north India (place of creation)
    Malwa (possible) (possible place of creation)
  • Date

    11th - 12th century (1001 - 1200)
  • Material and technique

    red sandstone

  • Material index

  • Technique index

  • Object type

  • Dimensions

    50 x 33 x 22 cm approx. (height x width x depth)
  • No. of items

    1

  • Credit line

    Purchased, 1968.

  • Museum location

  • Museum department

    Eastern Art

  • Accession no.

    EA1961.168

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  • Catalogue text

    This little group, including the small donor figure, stood at the base, on one side of the surround of a large image, most likely Viṣṇu. Such elaborately carved surrounds are a feature of large stele after the Gupta period and with their superimposed figures and motifs and elaborate symbolism they have much in common with the doorways of the period [see EAO.S. 71].

    The figures are easily recognizable as Kṛṣṇa, holding the discus in his right hand, or more likely Vāsudeva, because of his crown, Subhadrā, holding what appears to be a lotus, and Balarāma, identifiable by the hala (plough) he is holding and his serpent hood. They are thus clearly representative, even at this comparatively late date, of members of the family group of five folk heroes at the origin of much of the cult of Viṣṇu [see EAOS.38.a]. Their relation to the iconographical grouping known as Ekānaṃśa (“the single portionless, or undivided one”), with the goddess as the central figure, cannot be discerned in this fragmentary context.

    In: Harle, J. C., and Andrew Topsfield, Indian Art in the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 1987)

Further reading

Harle, J. C., and Andrew Topsfield, Indian Art in the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 1987), no. 54 on p. 46, p. 49, illus. p. 45

Reference URL

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