**Originally Listed At $300**
Southeast Asia, Indonesia, ca. mid to late 20th century CE. A marvelous Garuda figure, symbolic of all attaining wisdom, finely carved from teak wood that has developed a lustrous patina and shows nice remains of red pigment, crouching dramatically with winged arms lifted behind its hunched back, talons curled over the integral base of billowing cloud forms, and an expressive visage with bulging eyes and an open, fanged beak - wearing an ornate crown and vestments. A white metal chain adorns its neck. What makes this piece even more magnificent is its elaborate plumage - three separately carved outspread wings with mesmerizing curled feathers and openwork details truly make this Garuda sing - or given the Garuda's fierce character - screech! Size: 14" W x 28" H (35.6 cm x 71.1 cm)
Garuda is a mythical avian creature, a somewhat humanoid bird (note the human hands in combination with the undeniable bird characteristics of this figure), important in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology, representing the enlightened mind and by extension signifying unborn and never-ending possibilities. In Buddhist mythology, Garuda are the brilliant gold-winged Peng birds that possess great intelligence, and most impressively, have the ability to grow quite large or quite small, to appear and disappear. They are known for their brilliant wings which are believed to span miles and miles. According to legend, when Garuda's wings flap, hurricane-like winds dramatically blow down shelters and darken the skies; this narrative stemming from tales of golden-winged Peng birds, believed to dry up the seas with one flap of their wings in order to devour the exposed dragons residing in the waters. In Thailand, one variant of Garuda called Khrut Pha (meaning "Garuda, the vehicle of Vishnu") is used as a symbol of the royal family. What's more, statues and imagery of Garuda are featured at many Thai Buddhist temples, and Garuda has become the cultural symbol of Thailand. A marvelous piece manifesting simultaneously as a magnificent avian and divine being.
Provenance: private Boulder, Colorado, USA collection acquired at Indochine Gallery
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