Sense of Sight : Assignment 2

chola-bronze-shiva

This incredible bronze sculpture of Lord Shiva or ‘Nataraja’, the primary Hindu god of creation and destruction, was created over 1000 years ago by the Chola. Chola Dynasty was ascendant from 850 to 1250 CE in Southern India. They were devotional people who built beautiful temples, statues and palaces in honour of the gods. This is a statue of Lord Shiva doing the dance of death or ‘Tandav’, which descirbe his great power and beauty, around a ring of fire. His hair is radiating outward with a idol of Ganga resting on it, the goddess of river Ganga, which descended from Lord Shiva’s hair. Shiv has been depicted with four hands. One hand holds the double-sided drum or ‘Damru’, who’s music restores life, the left most arm(right-side) holds the fire of destruction, and the other two performing the ‘mudra’ or the posture of the dance. He is standing on the a dwarf called Apasmara, who is known to be the dwarf of ignorance. The crown and necklace of Lord Shiva are heavily ornamented, the cresent moon clearly visible at the centre of his crown. Shiva also shelters the snake on his arm as it is believed that Shiva controles all fear and death, hence he wears the dangerous reptile as an ornament. This perfection and deatiled work was cast out of a single piece, the work of a true Chola artist indeed.

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