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Surya with Retinue, 9th century

India: Uttar Pradesh, 800-899
Sandstone
44-1/2 x 23-1/2 in. (113.0 x 59.7 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation, from the Estate of Jennifer Jones Simon
M.2010.1.48.S
© 2012 Norton Simon Art Foundation

On view

Images of Surya, the Vedic sun god, typically depict him standing in front of a solar aureole, with both hands raised, holding a lotus flower. Here, Surya is accompanied by his large retinue, which includes his two wives, Rajni and Nikshubha, two smaller male attendants, Dandi and Pingala, along with other celestial figures. A female figure, perhaps the earth goddess Bhudevi, stands between his feet in a spot usually reserved for his charioteer, Aruna. The absence of Aruna and the presence of the female figure both suggest that this sculpture was made in Uttar Pradesh.

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