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The Hindu deity Brahma, approx. 1000–1200

The Hindu deity Brahma

The Hindu deity Brahma, approx. 10001200. India | Tamil Nadu state. Granite. The Avery Brundage Collection, B60S46+.

Brahma is identifiable by his four heads. (One is understood to be in back.) Though he is in theory a very important god, and sometimes called the creator of all beings, Brahma has few worshipers and few temples devoted to him. This image would probably have been placed in a niche in the outer wall of a temple to Shiva or Vishnu. Many stone sculptures made in the Chola kingdom of southeastern India (approx. 8601310), like this one, have an appealing quality of softness. This is largely because of the texture of their usual material, granite. Granite is coarse grained and does not accept sharp and minutely detailed carving.

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