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On display on Level 1

Deccan sultanates period (1490-1686) Architectural brackets and lintels 1450-1600 Place made: north Deccan, India
Creation Notes: Radio-carbon dated 1428-1636
Materials & Technique: sculptures, lintels, teak
Dimensions: brackets 274.0 h 144.0 d cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased with the assistance of the Margaret Hannah Olley Art Trust 2006
Accession No: NGA 2006.247.A-O
  • The supplied chain of ownership for this object is being reviewed and further research is underway. The provenance information listed has been substantiated by documentation. Details may be refined and updated as research progresses.
  • with art dealer Francesca Galloway of Francesca Galloway Ltd, London, 2006 or before
  • who sold it to the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2006 for GBP 420,000

The elaborate carving of these brackets, corbels and lintels displays the fusion of Hindu and Islamic imagery that characterised the architectural decoration in many areas of the Indian subcontinent during the Mughal dynasty (1526–1857). These sculptures have been radiocarbon dated to 1450–1600, a period coinciding with the establishment of the Mughal Empire throughout India.

The design evokes the sinuous serpentine form of the mythical makara, a composite creature widely found in Hindu temple architecture. Circular and oval ornamentation suggests the beast's vestigial eyes and ears. However, intricate layers of geometric detail and foliate pendants and arabesques on the architectural elements reveal the strong Islamic character of the arts of the Deccan.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label