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8th C. Indian Pala Black Schist Panel, Uma-Maheshvara

India, region of Bengal, Pala Empire, ca. 8th to 12th centuries CE. A black schist panel carved with in high-relief, showing a common scene from Pala imagery: Shiva and his wife Parvati. Parvati (also known as Lalita) holds a mirror and stands with on foot resting on her vahana, a lion; Shiva's foot rests on his vahana, a bull. This scene is called the Uma-Maheshvara in reference to two other names of these gods. The kneeling figures on the base of the statue represent attendants or devotees of these gods. Size: 4.4" W x 7.9" H (11.2 cm x 20.1 cm)

The Pala Empire was the last major Buddhist power in India, although their sculptural art, as here, often includes Hindu elements and iconography. They are well known for their sculptural art, which was influenced by the Gupta period. See the Asia Society Museum for a similar example in bronze.

Condition: Intact, with very minor chipping to edges and chipping from two of the legs on the statue; artwork is very clear.

Provenance: Ex-important LA County, USA collection

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