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Archive for March 15th, 2010

There are many wonderful and awe inspiring sculptures in Perur. But as we saw in the previous post, there was this seemingly innocuous looking pillar sculpture, which we would have totally missed, if not for the genius in Sri Padmavasan.

perurpillar

Many people would have passed this sculpture without even batting an eyelid, and to be honest despite our heightened mortar skills, we too missed to even spend the few seconds to capture it on camera. The subsequent trouble we went through to secure the images, is a lesson for us, not to take any sculpture or artist lightly.

Padmavasan sir, showed me his sketch of this pillar and started explaining its uniqueness.

artist+sri+padmavasan+sketch

Lets see if we can make out some basic features from the sculpture first.

arjuna

Obviously, its an ascetic in deep meditation. Perched on one leg, but there are few signs which help us to identify him

notice+the+bow
wild+boar

A bow on his shoulder and the boar, show us that its Arjuna, the penance to get the Pasupathaastra from Shiva.

arjuna
arjuna+sketch

The craftsmen’s mastery in handling the relief in the bow is simply astounding. Take a look at this angle.

detail+sketch+top+portion
mastery+inrelief+notice+bow
notice+the+bow

But, the uniqueness of this relief sculpture is in the way the sculptor has portrayed the intensity of Arjuna’s penance. How?

notice+anything+outofplace
true+beauty+in+this

Do you notice anything different. Let me give you a clue. Normally the sculptor would strictly adhere to framing guidelines - but in this frame the foot seems to extend slightly out of the lower frame. Why?

detail+sketch+bottm+half
lets+try+a+different+angle
still+closer

Try to spot something under the big toe !! Maybe sir’s sketch can help us take notice.

penance+on+a+needle

Yes, he is doing penance on a needle point. Thanks to Praveen for capturing the different angles to truly appreciate the greatness of the sculpture. No better way to explain than this angle.

watch+the+portion+below+the+big+toe

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