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On display on Level 1

Vijayanagar dynasty (1336-1565) India
Sita 15th century Place made: Karnataka, India
Materials & Technique: sculptures, bronze; lost-wax casting
Dimensions: 68.0 h x 21.5 w x 19.0 d cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1991
Accession No: NGA 91.1
  • 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.
  • probably acquired by Gabriel Jouveau-Dubreuil in south India, after 1922
  • with Chin-Tsai Loo (CT Loo), Paris, from 1935 or before
  • with S H Minkenhoff, Amsterdam, 1947 or before
  • with J J Klejman, New York, after 1950
  • with Arthur Cohen, New York
  • who sold it through art dealer Peter Marks, New York
  • to Morris J Pinto, New York, after October 1988
  • who sold it through art dealer Peter Marks, New York
  • to the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 1991 for USD 165,000

The Hindu goddess Sita is the heroine of the Ramayana, one of the great epics of Hindu India, and the wife of Rama, heir to the throne of Ayodhya and one of the nine avatars of the god Vishnu.

After Rama and Sita were exiled to the jungle for fourteen years, Sita was abducted by Ravana, the evil ruler of Lanka. Ravana held her captive for several years before she was rescued by Rama, his brother Lakshmana and the monkey army. As she had lived in the house of another man, Rama was reluctantly forced to reject Sita as his queen. Her innocence was subsequently established and ever since she has been hailed as the embodiment of chastity and conjugal fidelity.

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