Unknown artist

Apsara

Apsara by Unknown artist

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An apsara is a heavenly dancer and celestial maiden who accompanies the gods in Hindu mythology. Their statues are thought to bring great luck to sacred monuments. Featuring prominently in sculpture, dance, literature and painting from India, Indonesia, China and Cambodia, apsaras are thought to personify the performing arts. This sensual, sandstone figure came from the walls of a Hindu temple at Khajuraho in North India. She stands relaxedly in a tribhanga pose, a gentle, curving S-shaped stance constituted by three bends in the body at the neck, waist and knee. This posture is considered one of the most graceful and sensual of the positions in the Odissi, a major Indian classical dance that originated in the Hindu temples of Odisha, an eastern coastal state of India. Her lyrical curves evoke the lilting rhythm of music and dance. Kama (desire, longing or enjoyable experience) is a central tenet of Hinduism and is considered an integral part of spirit and creation.

Title
Apsara
Artist/creator
Production date
10th century-12th century
Medium
pink sandstone
Size (h x w)
787 x 317 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1970
Accession no
1970/17/1
Copyright
Copyright Expired
Department
International Art
Display status
On display

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