48. Lintel

48. Lintel
Painted wood
Length: 152.4 cm
Nineteenth-twentieth century
Catalogue number 48.
Accession number 88.519.

Lintels 48, 49, 54, 55, and two other vertical panels in the collection were once part of a village shrine near Dhaka. No. 48 has side extensions depicting makaras, mythical beasts with scaly bodies. The central part of the beam shows a floral canopy, framing two scenes that represent contrasting erotic and ascetic themes. On the left, Rama and Sita embrace each other. The meditating figure in yogic pose on the right is either Shiva wearing an animal skin garment or another avatar of Vishnu, Parashurama, carrying an axe. The central canopy suggests that the lintel framed the front entrance of the wooden shrine.

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