Relief with female figure
Gupta, 5th-6th century
18 x 20 x 14 cm
The sensitive modelling of this bust of a female deity demonstrates the sensual beauty and incredible vivacity of Gupta terracotta. Characteristic of the 5th-6th centuries – the apogee of this “classical India” – it measures 18 cm in height.
Admirable for her youthful beauty, the goddess with her voluptuous breasts and slender waist is adorned with a wealth of jewels, including the finery around her neck and the fine carvings on her chest. Finely sculpted curls fall to her shoulders, while a slight drape around her waist and shoulders emphasises her lascivious posture.
The face is full, the eyes bright and wide open with arched eyebrows, the small nose well defined and the lips fleshy: the execution of the details is full of fluidity and suppleness. The gaze seems piercing, giving the goddess a flamboyant character. The goddess is adorned with wrist bracelets and wears heavy earrings in the shape of double circular rings. The sobriety of the jewellery is typical of Gupta women’s jewellery and the aesthetic conventions of the period.
Provenance: Karim and Isabelle Grusenmeyer-Bilquin until 2007, then English private collection.