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This massive and rare piece of Hindu art
is hand painted on cloth and from what
I've researched these cloth paintings have
been produced since the 18th century (at least)
specifically to be attached to Hindu temple ceilings.
They typically depict the Gods of Eight Directions
and were placed on the ceiling to help the worshipper
'head in the right direction' so to speak.

These temple ceiling paintings are precious items
usually only found in museums or Hindu temples
as far as my research showed me and later confirmed
by an Indonesian Art expert.
This one was rescued from a Manly apartment that
had been empty for more than 30 years.
It was full of a vast array of interesting items
from several different Asian regions which included
statues and carvings of timber and stone of varying age.
The owner had reputedly been an Asian history scholar
of some renown and these items were all pieces he had
picked up during his travels in approximately the third
quarter of the 20th century.

The centre of these temple ceiling paintings is always
multi-coloured but normally occupied by the
highest Hindu god, Siwa.
In this instance the place of Siwa has been taken
by a multi-coloured Garuda who is, as shown,
invulnerable to the attacks of all the gods and
hence suitably powerful for the Centre.

This huge framed ceiling painting tells the Hindu
story of creation (the Adiparwa) which is where
Garuda steals the Water of Immortality from the gods
so he can rescue his mother from bondage
(not sure what she did to deserve to be in bondage) .
For this transgression the gods attacked Garuda
but he escaped.

This painting shows all eight gods, each with
their respective weapons,attack the indestructible
Garuda (who is usually holding a flask of water
but this detail has been omitted here).

The painting is skillfully and beautifully executed
on a piece of fabric (possibly canvas?) as can be
seen in the close-up photos.
The fabric has now been glued around the edges to a
piece of white board - the board is only a frame,
it doesn't go all the way behind the painting.
According to an Indonesion art expert who recently
viewed this painting it dates to no later than the
1st half of the 20th century.
She also confirmed that these temple paintings rarely
come onto the market.

The condition is good for a used ceiling painting which
this one is (according to the expert).
Some little patches of flaking paint and fading but
no holes in the fabric that I can see.

This thing is ENORMOUS and will have to be a
PICK UP ONLY job!!!!!
The gold outer frame measures a massive 2.2m by 2.01m
(which must have cost an arm and a leg).
We had to dismantle it to get it out of the apartment
and reassemble it here it is that big.
(Never had to do that before)


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