Lot 2
Quick Zoom

9th Century

Pallava Dynasty
Tamil Nadu

Height: 28 in (71.1 cm) (each)

The Pallava Dynasty

The Pallavas ruled from Kanchipuram in Madras, South India, from the 6th to the 9th century. They were responsible for the earliest cave carvings in South India, and examples of their wonderful workmanship still stand at sites like Mahabalipuram as witness to their style and the grandeur of their artistic creation.

The Pallavas were ruled by an art-minded king, Mahendravarman, and their artistic creation was led by the ruler who was himself a sculptor, poet, musician and warrior, which led to an appreciative audience that could understand and reward generations of sculptors.

The art of the Pallavas had a characteristic power and dominance attached to it. Figures are shown with broad shoulders, heavy chests and serious expressions. It is the Pallava School that provided inspiration for the development of the glorious Chola School that followed. Although the Chola artisans were perfectionists, their art form could not match the strength and the power of the ancient Pallava imagery.

Both the Pallava as well as the later Chola dynasties carved Yalis or mythical lions as part of their architecture. The concept of lions assumed greater importance during the Pallava reign as the bull and lion were their emblems. They are also often seen in coins of the Pallava dynasty. Due to this, the Pallavas depicted lions with great artistic skill.

Usually paired sculptures tend to get separated and at times one of the two might be damaged. In this case it is a complete pair. As can be seen the texture is coarse with age. The expressions are fierce and realistic. The eyes are bulging and the mouths wide open. The mane flows down covering the neck. The posture is that of a guardian; the aura and mood are that of a vigilant protector. These sculptures would have once been placed prominently as part of ancient architecture. The expression, ferocity, condition and age make these fine specimens of this dynasty.

Other similar works in: this auction  |  entire site

  Lot 2 of 24  

28-29 NOVEMBER 2012

Rs 6,00,000 - 8,00,000
$12,000 - 16,000

Winning Bid
Rs 7,20,000
(Inclusive of Buyer's Premium)


Bidding is permitted in Indian rupees only. US dollar values shown, if any, are for reference.
Need help? Please check our guides on How to Bid. Auction Tips and FAQs.
Email [email protected], [email protected] Tel: (91 22) 2432 2898/2436 4113