by Beta.s2ph (public domain)
India (Uttar Pradesh). Early 12th century. Sandstone. H. 331/2 in. (85.1 cm) Promised Gift of Florence and Herbert Irving (L 1993.88.2) Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.
The contours and richly ornamented surfaces of this celestial attendant
to the gods exemplify a stylistic shift away from earlier Gupta-influenced
forms. Here the linear play of surface decoration and dramatic contours
replace the earlier emphasis on seamless volume and subtle balance. The
sculptor has twisted the figure into an extraordinary pose that captures
the essence of her dance and seems absolutely believable until one imagines
actually trying to turn this way. The jewelry sways and emphasizes her
movements, both in the way the necklaces and sashes follow the curves of
her body and in the upward thrust of the spiked tips of her crown. The
crisp carving of her adornments makes a pleasing contrast with the smooth
and rounded surfaces of her flesh. Images of dancing semidivine attendants
often appear on the outer walls of Hindu temples. They are placed near
the figures of gods to honor the deity, just as actual female dancers honored
the gods’ images within the temple.
by DoktorMax (public domain)
It is a picture of the 10th century Cham "Dancers' Pedestal"
belonging to the Tra Kieu Style of Cham art. The figures are an apsara
dancer and a gandharva musician.