Celestial Maiden (Surasundari) (Primary Title)
Surasundari (Alternate Title)
beautiful woman of the gods (Translation)

Unknown (Artist)

12th century
Indian, Orissa
sandstone
Orissa, India
Overall (without base): 31 3/8 × 10 1/4 × 9 15/16 in. (79.69 × 26.04 × 25.24 cm)
Overall (with base): 33 5/8 × 10 1/4 × 9 15/16 in. (85.41 × 26.04 × 25.24 cm)
2006.39
Surasundaris, literally “beautiful women of the gods,” are a common adornment on the exteriors of medieval Hindu temples in central and eastern India. Carved in high relief on wall projections, these graceful, alluring maidens are not specific deities but idealized female figures that serve an auspicious function. They both ornament and protect the sacred structure, drawing devotees toward the place and warding away evil. Seductive yet aloof, this maiden wrings out her long, freshly washed tresses. Drops of water probably fell into the open mouth of a goose at her feet, now missing. The twisting curves of her stance and the radiance of her face enliven this elegantly poised image.
Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund

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