Description
Large Size Shiva The Archer
Specifications:

South Indian Temple Wood Carving

Artist: R. Chellappan

5.9 ft X 1.6 ft X 0.6 ft

46.5 Kg



This dramatically conceived form of Lord Shiva, with body curved on almost all points, hands gesticulating silence lest the sound of his retinue’s footsteps alerted the birds and led them to flee, and eyes expanding with delight for finding so many of them within his reach, represents him as hunter, one of his innumerable manifestations, conceived both in visual arts and theological tradition. The wood-carver here has laid greater emphasis on Shiva’s tribal and hunter forms. A bird caught and carried in his left hand, the style of double leather belt tied around his waist and a large dagger or medium-size sword fixed into it, and the style of coiffure – hair braided with turban and tied into a large ball-like knot with a loop releasing from it, are features rigidified now for long as essential elements of a hunter’s identity. However, in all other things – a muscular, or rather crude anatomy, large moustaches, balls-like large eyes with eye-balls bursting out of their sockets, style of crown conceived with spikes and floral base, ornaments of large beads and various natural seeds, the figure reveals tribal identity. While lotus-buds with stems, or an ornament so styled, seem to adorn the apex of his ears, bunches of banana-like fruits, or identical ear-ornaments, are used for adorning his ear-lobes. Crude and uncultivated anklets, ornaments on neck and breast as well as on arms and other parts, made of natural beads, buds and fruits further emphasise the figure’s tribal links. The figure of the hunter Shiva has been installed on a five tiered high pedestal. The base comprises a row of stylised inverted lotuses. Above it there is a recessed moulding with floral-creeper design defining its face. Above it there appears a projected moulding with slanting lotus face. Again there appears a depressed zone comprising a plain unadorned moulding part, and finally, it is topped by a moulding conceived with a tapering lower half comprising lotuses. The figure of Shiva has been supported on a column fixed in the centre of the pedestal. His entire figure, from legs to head, from gesticulating hands to an emotionally charged face, vibrates with rhythm and appears to be in a posture of dance. 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. Click here to view a high resolution image of the sculpture (2.6 MB).
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