Saint Sundarar with wife Paravai

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 2

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At A Glance

  • Period

    16th century
  • Geography

    Veerasolapuram village, Tamil Nadu state, India
  • Material

  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 57.2 x 37.1 x 19 cm (22 1/2 x 14 5/8 x 7 1/2 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Provenance

    By 1956 - ?
    Shiva Temple in Veerasolapuram village, Kallakuruchchi Taluk, Tamil Nadu, India [1]
    About 1961 to 1968
    William H. Wolff, Inc., New York, NY, method of acquisition unknown [2]
    1968 to 1987
    Arthur M. Sackler, New York, NY, purchased from William H. Wolff, Inc., NY [3]
    From 1987
    Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, gift of Dr. Arthur M. Sackler on September 11, 1987 [4]
    [1] In the summer of 2018, the museum discovered that the Saint Sundarar with wife Paravai bronze was from the Shiva temple (also known as Narishwara, Nagareshwara, or Ardhanareshwara) built in the 16th century, Vijaynagara period. The temple is situated in Veerasolapuram village, in the Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu, India. In 1956, the sculpture was photographed at this temple; the original photograph is at the photo archive jointly run by the École Française d'Extrême Orient (EFEO) and the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP). While it is not known with certainty when the bronze left the Tamil Nadu temple and arrived in the United States, another sculpture from the same temple was sold by William H. Wolff, Inc. in 1961. Since the Sackler sculpture was previously in possession of Wolff, who then sold it to Arthur M. Sackler, it is possible that the Sackler bronze also left India by 1961.
    [2] In 1961 William H. Wolff, Inc. offered other sculptures originating from the same Shiva temple in Tamil Nadu (see note 1). William H. Wolff, Inc. sold this sculpture to Arthur M. Sackler in 1968 (see note 3).
    [3] Arthur M. Sackler purchased this sculpture in 1968. According to information from the Brooklyn Museum of Art's registrar files, the sculpture came to the Brooklyn Museum of Art on June 12, 1968 as a loan from Arthur M. Sackler. For the sculpture, Arthur M. Sackler's collection number was L68.12.23. Based on this information, Arthur M. Sackler likely acquired this sculpture earlier in 1968, see correspondence from the Brooklyn Museum of Art, copy in object file.
    [4] Pursuant to the agreement between Dr. Arthur M. Sackler and the Smithsonian Institution, dated July 28, 1982, legal title of the donated objects was transferred to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery on September 11, 1987.
    Research updated May 8, 2023.
  • Collection

    Arthur M. Sackler Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Puja: Expressions of Hindu Devotion (Friday, April 26, 1996 - Sunday, July 09, 2000)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Shiva Temple in Veerasolapuram village
    William H. Wolff, Inc. (1906-1991)
    Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987)
  • Origin

    Veerasolapuram village, Tamil Nadu state, India
  • Credit Line

    Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

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