The chola dynasty started predominating / prospering after the tenth century. Majority of the surplous revenue was spent in building newer and bigger temples, along with devotional icons.
What I noticed in the statues of the chola period was the elegent ,slender bodies, made to depict certain postures, adorned with ornaments. The ornaments depicted are may be the representation of the ornaments worn during the reign of the cholas .But in the 14th century, Muslims invaded Tamil nadu .Stone images were vandalised, but the bronze sculptures were stolen for their high metal value. Therefore they were buried to prevent from being stolen. Todays finest chola sculptures were recovered deep in the temple grounds , and in the surrounding countryside . Chola bronzes are unique images that cannot be replicated because of the lost wax (cire perdue) process used to create them requires that the mold be broken open to releases the statue.
The bronze statue shown here belongs to the group of Somaskanda. Somaskanda stands for “Shiva with Uma and Skanda,” the latter figure being their son and who stands between them. The celestial family here is seated on separate cushions ,over a wide waisted plinth. Its around 25¼ in. (64.1 cm.) wide.Here Shiva is holding an axe and antelope. He is wearing a short dhoti ,and his body is adorned with sacred thread. This may be out of context, but the earlobes in these statues remind me of similar earlobes in that of Chinese Buddha statues. The more I look at the statues, the more I feel that these statues kind of depict the bodies of todays perception of perfect male and female bodies,ie wide shoulders, thin waists,broad chests, and as mentioned earlier , slender limbs. But regarding the facial structure though,I cant help but relate it to the facial structure of Chinese Buddha statues,ie long nose,thin eyes.