Panchaloha bronzes of Uma-Parvati from the temple town of Swamimalai in Tamil Nadu, are
one of the finest examples of South Indian iconography to date. With devout
attention to the dhyana-mantra (mantra for remembering the divine), Shloka
(hymns), and Puranic and literary lores, the artist sculpts the most enchanting
icons of Uma as Shivakamasundari- the beautiful lady (Sundari) who instills
passion (Kama) in Shiva. Observing and marveling at a Panchaloha bronze Uma
statue like the one we have here, is a complete lesson on the ancient
iconographic treatise and their rules on molding the perfect feminine form.
Being a part
of Shiva shrines, a Uma bronze is a pious and deific presence, which is always
sculpted with a fitting platform of inverted lotus. Here you see a lotus
pedestal placed on a secondary square base which adds to the overall stature of
the beauteous Uma Shivakamasundari. On the stately platform, Uma stands in a
graceful Tribhanga, or triple-bent posture that accentuates her youthful allure.
A towering Kiritamukuta (conical crown) sits on her head, Makara (a mythical
animal that symbolizes divine beauty) shaped earrings adorn her ears, two
strings of necklaces cling close to her neck, fine Skandha-aabhushana (shoulder
ornaments) highlight her shapely limbs, Mayura (peacock) feather shaped Keyura
(armband) is tied around her arm, a Yajnopavita (sacred thread) meanders across
her tastefully appealing torso, and an ornate Mekhla (girdle) clasps her
Indian iconographical traditions, the eyebrows should be like two leaves and a bud, her nose should be sharp as a parrot’s beak, her eyes should be shaped like
fishes, lips should resemble the softness of pink flowers, and her thighs should be
formed like the stalk of a banana tree, and her hips should mirror the grace of
an elephant’s trunk. With a closer look at the limbs, posture, and appearance of this
bronze Uma icon, we can begin to see these principles being followed by the
Sthapati, to reach an enthralling artwork worthy of being praised. The delicate
lips of Uma carry a warming inward smile, which she offers to her beloved
Shiva, along with a blue lily which she carries in her right hand, raised in
the Kataka-hasta mudra.
WHAT IS PANCHALOHA BRONZE AND HOW TO TAKE CARE OF IT ?
Bronze is a metal alloy that has the primary composition of Copper and Tin. There is also an addition of other metals such as Manganese, Aluminium, Nickel, and some non-metals such as Phosphorus. This composition of several metals and non-metals makes Bronze an extremely durable and strong metal alloy. It is for this reason that Bronze is extensively used for casting sculptures and statues. Since Bronze has a low melting point, it usually tends to fill in the finest details of a mould and when it cools down, it shrinks a little that makes it easier to separate from the mould.
" If you happen to have a bronze statue, simply use a cotton cloth with some coconut oil or any other natural oil to clean the statue. "
A village named Swamimalai in South India is especially known for exceptionally well-crafted Bronze icons of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The skilled artisans of this place use Panchaloha Bronze for casting the icons. Panchaloha Bronze is made of five metals; Copper, Zinc, Lead, and small quantities of Gold and Silver. Zinc gives a golden hue to the finished figure and Lead makes the alloy softer for the easy application of a chisel and hammer. The common technique for producing these statues and sculptures is the “Lost-wax” method. Because of the high durability of bronze sculptures and statues, less maintenance is required, and can still last up to many decades.
Exotic India takes great pride in its collection of hand-picked Panchaloha Statues. You will find the murtis of Gods (Krishna, Hanuman, Narasimha, Ganesha, Nataraja, and Kartikeya) and Goddesses (Saraswati, Lakshmi, Durga, and Parvati), and Buddha statues. You can also buy Ritual paraphernalia (Wicks lamp, Puja Kalash, Cymbals, and Puja Flag) on the website. All these statues and items have been made with a lot of care and attention, giving them a flawless finish. Their fine carving detail represents the rich tradition of India.
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