Sandstone relief of a Surasundari in languid pose
Late 10th century, Rajasthan, India
Height: 81 cm, 31.9 inches
Sheltering beneath a large lotus stem and flower, this celestial woman is likely to have adorned the outside of a temple.
Her sensuous form is sensitively modelled – there is fluidity to her curves and fineness in her features; the eyebrows are moulded into arches framing almond-shaped eyes above a straight nose, slightly smiling mouth, and pointed chin. The breasts are well-rounded, slight folds of flesh are indicated on her left side, and her belly gently swells; the body undulates to the left accentuating her small waist and curvaceous hips – with shapely legs well-defined beneath the folds of her dhoti. Her hair is finely incised and adorned with jewellery, and she is further embellished with earrings and necklaces – whilst a long flowing scarf is draped behind her neck and to either side. The female is holding in her right hand fingers of her left hand. Showing the undersides of the fingers, without the fingernails.
On her left, a dwarf plays with her bejewelled garments – and on her right an attendant holds up a stringed musical instrument known as a vina.
Sculptures indiennes du musee Guimet, Amina Okada, Tresors du Musee Guimet, Reunion des Musees Nationaux – pages 110 & 111.
Gods, Guardians, and Lovers: Temple Sculptures from North India A.D. 700-1200, The Asia Society Galleries, New York – in association with Mapin Publishing Pvt. Ltd., Ahmedabad – pages 158 & 159.