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  • Winged Angel

Wood
19th century

The product of an eclectic intermingling of multiple cultures this wooden figurine of a male angel recalls in it’s treatment of the hair and the wings, images of angels in western painting and sculptural traditions. The body however is depicted in a sinuous tribhanga– a stance used in Indian classical dance and sculpture, with the body curving at the waist, neck, and hip to create a gentle S curve. The garland strung across the torso, the lotus pedestal and the garments are likewise, local. These figurines are common in the Thanjavur and Madurai regions of Tamil Nadu, where Dutch, Portuguese, and British influences had been assimilated into local artistic traditions.

The protrusion at the base of the lotus pedestal indicates that the angel was originally inserted into a horizontal wooden element, usually placed on railings near pulpits and balustrade ends in churches to represent their guardianship of the church and the faithful.

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