Central Asia, North India, ca. 4th to 5th century CE. A hand-carved red sandstone sculpture depicting the portal guardian Yaksa (also spelled Yaksha, Yaksi or Yaksini) standing in a graceful posture, wearing voluminous garments with folds cascading over the contours of his body, and holding an offering cup in both hands beneath the canopy of a flowering Sal tree for in Hindu mythology, Yakshas are tree spirits of the Sal tree as well as nature spirits who protect the treasures hidden amid the roots of trees and within the earth. They are magical shape shifters who are at times mischievous and avidly sexual. In visual art, Yakshas are some of the earliest deities depicted, even preceding imagery of bodhisattvas! Size: 3.25" W x 6.875" H (8.3 cm x 17.5 cm); 7.75" H (19.7 cm) on included custom stand.
Provenance: ex-Will Barnet collection; Will Barnet (1911-2012) is an American artist known for his paintings, watercolors, drawings, and prints depicting casual scenes of daily life as well as transcendent dreamlike worlds. A longtime resident of the National Arts Club, Barnet died in New York City at the age of 101.
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