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Can you identify this sculpture

Magnus

New Member
I was recently on holiday in the UAE and was looking through the souks and came across an unusual elephant figurine that i have never seen before. See image. Instagram photo by Ewan Murray • Feb 2, 2017 at 2:36pm UTC

Im assuming its hindu and was interested to know if anyone can tell me or point me in the direction to find an answer about what its supposed to be and the symbolism. It could just be an unusual piece of art, though i doubt it.
 

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Quintessence

Consults with Trees
Staff member
Premium Member
Magnus, I'm moving this out of the DIR area because only our resident Hindus could respond to your question. It's conceivable other members might know, but would be prohibited from responding that area.
 

Terese

Mangalam Pundarikakshah
Staff member
Premium Member
Ah yes i've seen that type of style before. i don't know what it's called, but i see it a few times in Indian and Mughal art.

Krishna_on_a_Gopi-elephant.jpg
 

Islington

Member
There are several similar pictures on this website and the book quoted at the end of this article gives an interesting answer:

"...the works which most closely resemble in idea and execution the composite heads of Arcimboldo are the Mughal miniature paintings of fantastic animals which are mosaics of intertwined animal and human forms.

In the Hindu tradition such paintings possibly represent the belief in the internal unity of all beings and illustrate the doctrine of the transmigration of souls through successive reincarnations. It is possible, though precise documentation does not exist, that Arcimboldo was stimulated to experiment with composite figures after seeing Indian miniature paintings on ivories or in books that belonged to the imperial collection of curiosities.

In Arcimboldo's works also, and in the calligraphic Indian portraits of animals, as well as in the interesting and provocative displays of the Wunderkammer, an effort was obviously made to stress the mystical and ambiguous relationship of man to the natural world.
It is even possible that Arcimboldo, like the Indian painters, was trying to express a belief in metempsychosis, a popular doctrine of his day and one that almost certainly had appeal for his enigmatic imperial master."​

—From Asia in the Making of Europe, Volume II: A Century of Wonder
 

Jedster

Well-Known Member
Ah yes i've seen that type of style before. i don't know what it's called, but i see it a few times in Indian and Mughal art.

Krishna_on_a_Gopi-elephant.jpg


There was picture very similar to this in an ashram I lived in(1976). The Rider was Krsna and the horse, which carried Him was composed of His devotees.:)
 
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