Small Red Sandstone Stele of Saraswati


Small Red Sandstone Stele of Saraswati

Small Red Sandstone Stele of Saraswati, four armed goddess finely carved in openwork seated in “Royal Ease” on a lotus throne, high 29,2 cm, wearing beaded necklaces,  holding “vina” in two hands, in her third hand holding manuscript and a flower in the fourth. She has lotus-shaped eyes and her hair is pulled into a high chignon backed by a star-burst halo, with her swan vehicle at her feet, left and right two devotees with folded hands under, and celestial beings with garlands above.

 India, Madhaya Pradesh or Rajasthan, 11th -12th century
 Provenance: Michigan collection, 1986.
 Saraswati, the “One with the lovely voice”, is the goddess of music, knowledge, poetry and arts.


* Saraswati has been identified with the Vedic Saraswati River. She is considered as consort of Brahma, the Hindu god of creation. Thus, with the goddesses Lakshimi and Parvati, she forms the Tridevi (“three goddesses”). Saraswati’s children are the Vedas [1], which are the oldest sacred texts of Hinduisum.

A similar stele of a Saraswati was sold at Christie’s New York, 20 September 2007, lot 277.

1. Sunil Sehga (1999); Encyclopaedia of Hinduism, p. 1214; Sarup & Sons, ISBN 8176250643, 9788176250641