Dvarapala

The two-armed figure dances with his left leg raised and wrapped around a club. His left arm is extended down his body and holds onto the club and his right hand is raised almost to his ear. He wears much of jewelry including bracelets, anklets, necklaces with should loops and an elaborate belt almost forming an apron. His stomach protrudes over the belt. He also has large earrings in the form of roaring lions and a jewel encrusted crown. His eyes bulge out and his mouth is open showing his teeth. The whole is badly weathered and not nearly as crisp as his partner, 1980/2.290.
Artist Unknown, India, Kerala Workshop
15th century
Dvarapala means the guardian of a door and were usually produced in pairs, meant to flank the entrance to a temple or to a shrine. The horrific nature of the figure implies that this and its mate were made for a Shaiva temple, one dedicated to the god Shiva.
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Leo S. Figiel and Dr. and Mrs. Steven J. Figiel
1980/2.291
Sunday, October 21, 2018