AN INDIAN WHITE MARBLE SCULPTURE OF 'AMBIKA', THE GREAT GODDESS
Rajasthan, AD 12th century
This superb sculpture portrays Ambika, one of the many manifestations of Devi, in a curving triple-bend stand with the tribhanga' which accentuates her waist and tights, with her left arm she holds a child on her hip, her highly sophisticated hairdo includes pearls and precious gems, her face round, with full lips, almond-shaped eyes and well-defined eyebrows, her jewellery is rich and wondrous: chain and pendant necklace falling over her breasts and a bracelet on her right upper arm, around her waist, is a broad belt with finely carved beads hanging from it, all the precepts of Indian beauty, which extols sensual shapes, are perfectly depicted in this sculpture.
H. 96 cm
Ambika, also called Durga or Mahisardini, “the Great Goddess”, was born from the rays of light emitted by the three major gods: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, all in one. She is Shiva’s sister and when Shiva is considered the first man and creator, Ambika (or Devi) is held to be his female half. She symbolizes cosmic energy and fights the forces of darkness, sometimes seated on a lion. But she can also be the benign and caring Mother of the World as she is here, holding a child in her arm.