One of the finest examples of ingenuity, and exceptionally imaginative, this brilliant brass statue represents Radha and Krishna seated on a swing. Richly costumed and bejeweled Radha and Krishna are in festive mood that manifests the season of Vasant that the artist has sought to portray also in the form of the tree holding the swing’s ropes – delicate and artistically cast brass-chains in this statue. The tree conceived as loaded with fresh leaves and abundant fruits besides a pair of peacocks perching on its top, and a single one, on the pedestal, are the harbinger of Vasant, the season of flowers, fruits and festiveness, when cuckoo sings, and joyous peacock dances. Not merely the peacocks in readiness to dance and welcome the season of songs and colours even the divine couple, transcending their divinity, betray complete absorption and human beings’ like passionate bearing to celebrate.
In this transformation – from a swing to a seat, the artist has better managed the aesthetics of the image for instead of placing the swing on a disproportionately extended branch away from the main tree and thus creating two focal points – the swing with Radha and Krishna seated on it, and the tree, the artist preferred composing the two units together and obtain complete unity and absolute balance. Thus, arrived at a central line in the form of the tree-trunk the artist had scope also for such aesthetic aspects as the magical symmetry and to so manage the form of the tree that it practically transforms into a multi-tiered canopy. As for the magic of symmetry, it begins working with the two branches immediately above the divine couple, stretching like the wings of a kite when unfolded. The entire tree has been cast following the same broad principle of symmetry.
The swing consisting of two pairs of ornamental chains and a rectangular plank, rings soldered on all four corners and held in these chains, is hung on two branches – one on the right, and the other, on the left of the tree, obviously Kadamba, the tree deeply associated with the life of Krishna. In different art mediums, painting in special, Krishna along Radha has been often represented as enjoying swinging. However, different from such representations in which the swing is hung on one of the branches on either side of the tree-trunk affording it obstruction-free space to swing to and fro in this representation the swing is hung with tree-trunk in the centre of its back affording the two figures backrest like support. Instead of moving to and fro this swing is fixed along the tree-trunk like a seat, the massive trunk serving as backrest. The base of the tree-trunk has been so much expanded that from under the swing it has reached the feet of the divine couple as for paying homage or affording footrest.
The tree, swing and the entire structure along with the divine couple is installed on a rectangular pedestal with rounded corners. It consists of two parts, the base moulding consisting of arabesque design, and the top, of lotus motifs. There sits towards its right a bird, more likely, a peacock. In a significant departure from the established convention, Radha is seated on Krishna’s right, not left. Maybe, the artist had in mind that Radha was not Krishna’s ‘vama’ – consort, one who occupies a position on ‘vam’ – left; Radha was his right, perhaps to the artist, his direction as also sense, and always preceded him, in all hymns and every invocation. Maybe, for a more secured hold the artist shifted her to right as she could be more secured in his right arm. His flute, usually held in his right hand is carried by Radha in her left hand; she is holding the chains of swing in her right hand. Both Radha and Krishna are putting on towering magnificent crowns styled like those in South Indian iconography of Vaishnava images. They are richly and elaborately bejeweled and costumed, both in ‘antariya’ and sashes, the sash-ends artistically unfurling beyond the swing.
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