Indian & Southeast Asian
A Buff Sandstone figure of Skanda God of war and first born of Shiva,born to destroy the demon Taraka
Central India 8th century
Skanda’s symbols are based on the weapons -Vel, the Divine Spear or Lance that he carries and his mount the peacock. He is sometimes depicted with many weapons including: a sword, a javelin, a mace, a discus and a bow although he is more often depicted
wielding a skate or spear.
This symbolizes his purification of human ills. His javelin is used to symbolize his far reaching protection, his discus symbolizes his knowledge of the truth, his mace represents his strength and his bow shows his ability to defeat all ills. His peacock mount symbolizes his destruction of the ego.
A Buff Sandstone Relief Fragment
Central India 11/12th century
Depicting two male figures one holding a bowl at his chest
Height 33 cm
The first known sculpture in the Indian subcontinent is from the Indus Valley civilization (3300–1700 BC), found in sites at Mohenjo-daro and Harappa in modern-day Pakistan. These include the famous small bronze female dancer. However, such figures in bronze and stone are rare and greatly outnumbered by pottery figurines and stone seals, often of animals or deities very finely depicted. After the collapse of the Indus Valley civilization there is little record of sculpture until the Buddhist era, apart from a hoard of copper figures of (somewhat controversially) c. 1500 BCE from Daimabad. Thus the great tradition of Indian monumental sculpture in stone appears to begin, relative to other cultures, and the development of Indian civilization, relatively late, with the reign of Asoka from 270 to 232 BCE, and the Pillars of Ashoka he erected around India, carrying his edicts and topped by famous sculptures of animals, mostly lions, of which six survive. Large amounts of figurative sculpture, mostly in relief, survive from Early Buddhist pilgrimage stupas, above all Sanchi; these probably developed out of a tradition using wood that also embraced Hinduism.
The sculpture of the region tends to be characterised by a high degree of ornamentation, as seen in the great monuments of Hindu and Buddhist Khmer sculpture (9th to 13th centuries) at Angkor Wat and elsewhere, the enormous 9th-century Buddhist complex at Borobudur in Java, and the Hindu monuments of Bali. Both of these include many reliefs as well as figures in the round; Borobudur has 2,672 relief panels, 504 Buddha statues, many semi-concealed in openwork stupas, and many large guardian figures.