This exceptionally well cast bronze apparently represents Lord Shiva's Ardhanarishvara form but it inherently manifests the cosmic principle that considers male to be partially female, a thing, which till 20th century was just a belief, is now a well established scientific truth. The Rigveda is the earliest authority on record to have visualised long back "what you describe to me as Male are in reality also Female. He who has the penetrating eyes of the mind discerns this truth". It is this Rigvedic vision of existence, which Shiva in his phenomenal transformation as Ardhanarishvara manifests.
Shiva's Ardhanarishvara manifestation is neither a riddle nor a
'pashu-kunjara' (see below) type quaint artistic experiment. It
rather conceptualises a deep principle of cosmology, which
considers existence as essentially composed of two sets of
diverse elements. In Indian thought it is only Shiva who as
Sadashiva or Adipurusha blends this diversity into his form and
as Ardhanarishvara manifests it. A born one is a male or a
female, the Adipurusha Shiva, the Sadashiva, the ever present
Unborn, is the 'total', all that is masculine and all that is
feminine, and it is this perception of existence which the
Ardhanarishvara vision of Shiva manifests. West also perceived
this inseparability of male and female elements, but could not
see it blend into a single form. An inseparable unity, which they
see manifest in the forms of Cupid and Psyche, is the unity of
the two in two forms. In Ardhanarishvara this unity is in one
This metal-cast, a bronze, reminds of great Chola bronzes of
South India. Sculptural perfection marks this tiny masterpiece.
Sharpness of features and minuteness of details, especially in
casting hairdressing, ornaments and garments, is simply
unparalleled. The right half of the figure is packed with factors
of male physiognomy and most of Shaivite attributes and the left
half with those of a woman and the attributes of Shiva's spouse
Parvati. The right side has two arms - the two of Shiva's four,
and the left just one, obviously one of Parvati's two arms. Upto
thigh level figure's right leg is without cloth but the left
representing part of Parvati's figure is elegantly covered with
decently plated saree. The job of the artist-caster must have
been quite challenging. On one hand he was required to discover
out of the most conflicting and diverse elements - the masculine
and feminine, the unity of his figure's form and on the other
with as much distinction, precision, and minuteness he had to
create his contrasts, and in both he has so well excelled.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain
specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of
numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the
curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New
Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books.
How to keep a Brass statue well-maintained?
Brass statues are known and appreciated for their exquisite beauty and luster. The brilliant bright gold appearance of Brass makes it appropriate for casting aesthetic statues and sculptures. Brass is a metal alloy composed mainly of copper and zinc. This chemical composition makes brass a highly durable and corrosion-resistant material. Due to these properties, Brass statues and sculptures can be kept both indoors as well as outdoors. They also last for many decades without losing all their natural shine.
Brass statues can withstand even harsh weather conditions very well due to their corrosion-resistance properties. However, maintaining the luster and natural beauty of brass statues is essential if you want to prolong their life and appearance.
In case you have a colored brass statue, you may apply mustard oil using a soft brush or clean cloth on the brass portion while for the colored portion of the statue, you may use coconut oil with a cotton cloth.
Brass idols of Hindu Gods and Goddesses are especially known for their intricate and detailed work of art. Nepalese sculptures are famous for small brass idols portraying Buddhist deities. These sculptures are beautified with gold gilding and inlay of precious or semi-precious stones. Religious brass statues can be kept at home altars. You can keep a decorative brass statue in your garden or roof to embellish the area and fill it with divinity.
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