Artist Unknown, African, Akan-Speaking Peoples, Ghana or Côte d'Ivoire
Goldweight in the shape of a man with a large head, tilted slightly backwards, on a thick, heavy neck, and topped by hair or headgear in the shape of a ball; the face has protruding eyes and nose, and the mouth holds a snake-like animal above a small beard (goatee). The figure is wearing a loincloth and holds a short stick under the left arm as well as two small jars in the hands.
Goldweights are small objects cast from brass used to weigh out quantities of gold and gold dust. They are cast using a lost-wax casting technique, wherein wax is sculpted into the desired shape and a mold is pressed around the wax model. Then, the mold is heated and the wax drained out, leaving a void in the shape of the original wax model. Liquid brass is poured into the mold and allowed to set before the caster cracks the mold open and retrieves the finished goldweight.
Christ in Limbo (The Harrowing of Hell) from "The Small Woodcut Passion"
A group of figures at the left stand in a vaulted space under a cross. They look towards the lower right of the composition where a man holding a standard with a cross on top is bending forward and offering his hand to an old bearded man in an arched doorway. Above the doorway are several fantastical figures with beaked or animal heads and arms with claws.
A seated woman in late 19th c. dress is shown against an undescribed dark background; she looks directly at the viewer and rests her chin on her right hand. At the lower left is a flower-like form that is the artist's "butterfly" signature.
Artist Life Dates
1834 - 1903
Object Creation Date
Medium and Support
drypoint, printed in dark brown ink on printed in dark brown ink on laid paper
This painting shows a man seated on a bench, facing the viewer. He leans forward slightly and his right hand reaches across his body to point toward a group of coins on the ground. He is dressed in tattered clothing and his feet are bare. The bench where he is seated is inscribed with the letters: P. Q. P. C. /T. T. This is an outdoor scene with open sky in the background and some vegetation on a ledge above him, but there are no details to indicate the exact location. Another man is shown in the background at the right, walking hunched over and using a staff. There is a strong contrast between dark and light in this painting. The figure of the walking man and the dark shapes of buildings are outlined against the light backdrop of the sky. A strong warm light, from the left side of the painting, highlights the knees, hand and upper body of the seated man.
Crucifixion with Saint Bartholomew and Two Male Saints
An ink drawing of Jesus Christ crucified on the cross. Around the cross are three male saints, one of whom is identified as Saint Bartholomew. All three look up at Jesus while one kneels on the ground, holding with his left hand the bottom of the cross. In the distant background are buildings of a city.
The four-armed Durga sits on a stylized crouching lion with her right leg pendant and the left one across her body. Her front right hand extends down with palm outwards in a boon giving gesture while the back right hand holds a sword. Her left font hand holds a fruit or flower bud while her back left hand holds a shield. The whole is simply carved with rather subdued jewelry, but she does wear necklaces, bracelets, armlets and loose anklets as well as large circular earrings and a diadem across her forehead. Her hair is arranged behind the diadem. The stele is subtly pointed and its only decoration is a band along the outside, although a throne is suggested at her knees. A highly stylized lotus supports her right foot at the base.
This small black and white engraving depicts a half-length portrait of a woman seated and cloaked in drapery who is attending to and two young boys. The woman supports the boy who looks out toward the viewer while both boys reach toward a plate of fruit resting on the woman’s arm in the center of the composition. The figures are arranged against a black backdrop with a raised curtain framing them at the top and at the upper left.
Hanuman stands on a tiered base, which starts square and sloped, then is square and straight up and then round sloped and ringed. He has a human body and a monkey’s head. He stands in an unbending stance with his hands in anjali mudra, held up to his chest with palms together in a prayer gesture. He wears a diaphanous garment from the waist down with only the edged decorated and depicted with a series of belts and sashes hanging in front of it. He wears a number of necklaces and armlets. His face is very worn and far less realistic than the body with the large round eyes incised with eyebrows above and a large circle on his forehead. His mouth is a simple slit.
Hanuman, standing, in anjali mudra (part of a Rama shrine)
Artist Unknown, India, Tamil Nadu
Hanuman is depicted with a human body and a monkey head. He stands in an unbending posture of devotion with his hands held on his chest with the palms together in a gesture of prayer, namaskara. He wears a lower garment that is decorated with belts and pendant loops and the cloth has formal decorative folds cascading down his sides. He wears a decorated belt and necklaces, bracelets and armlets, with shoulder loops, earrings, and a simple crown with a leaf shape at the top. He wears a dagger at his waist and his tail curves up behind him making a loop top frame his head like a halo.
This sheet contains sketches for two different unidentified scenes. The upper scene depicts a square-jawed, mustachioed man standing in front of a railing or counter. Two figures, suggested only by their contours, lean upon the rail or counter from the other side. Between them appears an unidentified object. The lower scene represents two men standing on a platform. The nearer figure, wearing shorts, bends forward to lift something. Another, larger objects sits in front of him. Behind him stands a figure in a long coat. This second figure seems to address the heads of an audience behind and below the platform.
A woman in a dress with long sleeves and a fitted bodice, long skirts and train that wraps across the figure to the left, and holding a fan stands against an undifferentiated background. Her figures is turned in a 3/4 pose, although her face is seen in profile.
Artist Life Dates
1834 - 1903
Object Creation Date
Medium and Support
lithotint, with scraping and incising, heightened with black and white crayon on
This phallic representation of the god Shiva appears as a columnar head placed on a base with two rounded moldings on top of a series of square ones. His neck is fully cylindrical and the face is modeled on that cylinder. The eyes are wide open and a bow shaped eyebrow curves over them. He has a flared nose and luxuriant moustache over a narrow but full lips and a short ball like chin. A ‘U’ shaped element consisting of lines and a pearl motif probably represents his beard, perhaps held up in a tight net. His forehead is decorated with three raise lines that go straight across and his crown is basically flat over his hear decorated with a bunch of peak forms in the center with a finial surmounting the whole. His ears fan out almost like handles to a jar and are decorated with stylized arabesques. A five-headed snake hood rises behind the head and has a rib down its center and scale motives incised towards the bottom an ‘S’ shapes t denote the cobra ‘eyes’ to each side.
Ambika sits above her stylized lion mount with a long body and with its tail curled to add support to the seated figure above. She sits with one leg pendant. She has four arms, the back two hold stylized mango clusters and her front right hand holds a large mango. Her left-hand cups a child seated on her left knee. Another child stands on the base to her right. The backing takes on a throne-like form, but she appears to float in front of it, the square-ish base is pierced and the arch of the back is surmounted by an auspicious pot form with leaves creating a volute shape to either side. The sculpture is solid brass, but the eyes and an ornament in her headdress are inlayed with silver.
Fragment from a Markendeya Purana scroll: Vishnu on the pipal leaf
Artist Unknown, India, Northern Andhra Pradesh
The blue four-armed Vishnu is shown lying on a gigantic pipal leaf with his left leg crossed over his right leg; as his female consort gently strokes his leg, he awakens from a long sleep. Another woman fans him. From his navel sprouts a lotus, bearing the four-headed creator god, Brahma, and rishis or sages appear in the upper branches of the pipal tree. Vishnu has four arms carrying a discus and a conch in his back hands and the lower left arm is extended pointing towards the women at his feet while the lower right am is cross towards his stomach.
The iconography is further compounded by the image in the lower register of a tortoise at the bottom of the ocean of milk, bearing a mountain on his back. The tortoise is in fact Kurma, another manifestation of Vishnu, supporting the cosmic axis. Elephants have gathered to pay homage to him, while in a small inset at right, a worshipper pays homage to Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma. A large red figure faces the scene to the right accompanied by small blue figures to his sides as if behind him. Two sages, one horse-headed, are to the upper right.
This is a large semi-circular painting (lunette) with several figures arranged to accomodate the shape of the canvas. It is night time, so the scene is enveloped in darkness. In the top center area, there is an angel, surrounded by bright light, who holds out a golden goblet toward a man kneeling before him. This man, with arms outstretched, looks up toward the goblet and the face of the angel. His face is illuminated by the light. He is wearing a bright red robe and a dark blue cloak. In the left foreground, there are three men who are sleeping. Two are sitting on the ground and the third, an elderly man with white hair, is reclining in front of them. They have dark blue and brown cloaks wrapped around them. On the lower right, shown in the far distance, is a group of people walking toward the kneeling figure. This scene is painted in dark tones of brown, green, blue and gray, except for the red robe of the kneeling man and areas on faces, arms and legs which are highlighted by a bright light.
small bronze figurine made by lost wax process. The child Krishna dances on one leg with his right one raised. He hold balls of butter in his hands, one outstretched to this side and the right one extended forward as if offering it to the viewer. He stands on a round lotus base placed on a square slab. He is naked, but is decorated with a vast assortment of jewelry. Necklaces that cross his chest and drop to his waist, decorated belts, shoulder pieces, rings, bracelets and earrings and elaborate decorations on his head fanning out from his ears and decorating his hair which is arranged in a flat chignon on the top of his head.