Pala India, Achala

 

11th-12th century, Northeast India, Achala, brass, at the Fondation Alain Bordier in Gruyère (Switzerland).

11th-12th century, Northeast India, Achala, brass, at the Fondation Alain Bordier in Gruyère (Switzerland).

Clad in a tiger skin dhoti and adorned with a skull crown, snakes and silver jewellery, Achala stands on two victims (Ganapati with an elephant head and Shiva), brandishing his flaming sword with the right hand and doing a wrathful gesture at heart level with the other, a lasso wound around his fingers. The double-lotus base is on a rocky formation. His eyes, fangs (biting his lower lip), necklace, anklets, the rim of his crown, the centre of his earrings and the flower in his headdress are made of silver. There are traces of orange pigment in his semi-circular chignon.

12th century, same as before, private collection, photo by Christie's.

12th century, same as before, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This one has upright flaming hair tied in a bunch, a leopard skin dhoti, no visible fangs, no victim under his feet. He wears a long snake as a sacred thread. The double lotus base is lower and has flatter petals than the standard Pala style.

13th century, Northeast India, Achala, brass, private collection, photo by Christie's.

13th century, Northeast India, Achala, brass, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This later work still follows the style of the Pala period (8th-12th century) but there is no beading on the pedestal and the lotus petals are broader and shorter.

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