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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Sotheby’s to auction Somaskanda south Indian bronze sculptures on March 21

Sotheby’s Indian and Southeast Asian Works of Art sale on 21 March 2012 will be led by one of the most impressive South Indian bronze sculptures to be offered at auction in recent times. The 13th century pair of Shiva with his consort Uma (Somaskanda) boasts an exceptional provenance, having been in a number of distinguished collections since the 1950s and is estimated to fetch $600,000/800,000.

Bronze Group of Shiva and Parvati: Somaskandamurti. Copper Alloy, South India, Chola period, 13th century. Height: 26 inches (66 cm) and 18 inches (47 cm). Est. $600/800,000. Photo: Sotheby’s

Between the ninth and thirteenth centuries much of South India was ruled by the Chola dynasty. This period is recognized for unparalleled cultural and artistic achievements, with the building of numerous temples and the production of large numbers of stone and metal sculptures for worship in these edifices. In particular, bronze sculptures from this period such as the present Somaskanda group, created for the purpose of processional worship, are widely hailed as masterpieces of world art.

The Somaskanda sculpture depicts Shiva, one of the principal deities in the Hindu religion, with his consort Uma beside him. Shiva is the Great Ascetic God whose infinite power remains concealed. His grace is revealed only when he is in the company of his consort Uma. This sculpture embodies the essential qualities of both Shiva and Uma; Shiva’s expansive, powerful chest is inflated with breath with his face radiating a calm divinity whilst Uma embodies the qualities of beauty and perfection with her body turned slightly towards her lord Shiva binding the two together in an everlasting image of benevolence and transcendence.

Sotheby’s New York Asia Week Auctions March 2012 Monday 19th March – Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art, 10am Tuesday 20th March – Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 10am Wednesday 21st March – Fine Classical Chinese Paintings, 10am Thursday 22nd March – Indian & Southeast Asian Works of Art, 10am .

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