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Celestial Entertainer

10th century

India, Rajasthan or Uttar Pradesh

Sandstone (quartz arenite)

H. 19 1/2 x W. 10 x D. 9 in. (49.5 x 25.4 x 22.86 cm)

Asia Society, New York: Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, 1979.32

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Images of female celestial entertainers commonly decorate the exterior walls of Hindu temples. The exaggerated pose of this figure emphasizes both her movement and her fertile nature. An Indian text on temple art notes the auspicious importance of these figures: "As a house without a wife, as frolic without a woman, so, without the figure of a women the monument will be of inferior quality and will bear no fruit."