Two divinities in Tribhaṅga
H. 60 cm
Under a vegetal canopy, two standing female deities stand out in very high relief. They are in a tribhaṅga or “triple bending” position, which is characteristic of Indian sculpture.
This iconography is similar to that of the “women in the tree”, which adorn the walls of temples. Their supple plasticity and plump forms are reminiscent of fertility in the Indian tradition. They embody the regenerative force of nature, since their mere presence makes the plants bloom. Their auspicious character makes them suitable for adorning the walls of shrines, which are covered with similar deities. They are sometimes devatā, who charm the gods with their presence, but also “tree women”, called śālabhañjikā, symbols of fertility. Objects of contemplation, they are also a sign of good omen for the faithful who enter the temple enclosure.
These two divinities are represented in a style characteristic of India, where a taste for ornamentation and stylisation of forms come together.
Their supple, curved figures reveal particularly accentuated forms. Their faces are extremely stylised, like their bodies. Indeed, their large, almond-shaped eyes, very stretched out and placed under arched eyebrows, testify to this taste for stylisation. Both deities are richly adorned, which testifies to the great care taken with ornamentation. They are both dressed in a prominent garment with wet folds that reveal their curves. This representation corresponds to an iconographic prerequisite derived from religious texts. The diaphanous garment helps to symbolise the divine character of these two female figures.