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Posts Tagged ‘Murugan’


Today we are going to see a fantastic miniature sculpture from Pullamangai ( Thanks chandra for the photo - more to come of yours shortly) - There is an equally majestic sculpture in tanjore museum - which is my favorite as well, which i fondly refer to as stone monalisa, but we will see that in a subsequent post. Am actually redoing this post, with further photos from Satheesh. We are in a real treat.

In order to truly appreciate this miniature, you got to understand the size of this creation and its location. We see the size at the end, just leaving it with ` miniature’ for now.

pullamangai+location

Well, need to use some software to brighten it up a bit and closeup for you.

brighten+toshow

Ok, recap the legend first.

Once upon a time there lived a demon called Gajamuhasura. As all demons are, he was cruel and ill treated all the good incl the devotees of shiva. Lord Shiva enraged at this decided to put an end to this and with his trident had a furious battle with the elephant bodied demon. The battle was so fierce and intense that Shiva was filled with rage and he caught the head of the elephant, crushed it with his foot and skinned him right there and wore it as his garment.

Now for the beauty - can you spot the characters - ofcourse Shiva - in his majestic, dynamic grace, almost dancing into the elephant hide - you can spot the elephant’s head way down to the left of the sculpture ( as you see it), under shiva’s trident - next to the shiva gana - who is up to his useful pranks - showing faces at the fallen asura. Amazing little characters these Ganas.

shiva+gajasamhaaram
shiva+twisting+as+he+skins+the+elephant
the+elephant+3+legs

You can see shiva’s torso twisted in his effort to wrest the skin and is holding it like a blanket around him.

headofelephant+gesturing+gana
headofelephant+gesturing+gana+detail

way down to the right, you can see his consort Parvati wanting nothing of this and rushing away, for she is scared and more scared is the young skanda - the portrayal of the baby is the master stroke of this sculpture - he wants to jump into the waiting hands of the lady helper, away from all this fearsome action …

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muruga+jumping+away+to+attendants+hand
muruga+jumping+away+to+attendants+hand+detail

Thats all the canvas that this master sculpture needed to sculpt this amazing microcosm of myriad emotions …Hats off for this splendid miniature. Well, did i say miniature?

whats+that+in+front


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Sculpture is divinely inspired. How better to explain these two sculptures in the Arjuna ratha ( one of the five rathas in the Mahabalipuram cluster).

arjuna ratha.jpg

Look at how an elephant rider ( is it Indra the lord of the devas or it is Muruga) - but to just see the skill of artist to have been able to conceptualize this composition, an elephant rider in front profile and to execute it to such perfection, is incredible. Such is the wisdom the ancients that they could bring such finesse into their art.

arjuna ratha panel.jpg
the panel.jpg

The ladies standing next to them, simply blow you away. How else to describe, that classical lines, divine proportions, that slightly angled profile, bent waist, flexed knee, hand gently caressing her locks, the other one enchantingly resting on her waist, the youthful exuberance of her face and lastly the sensuous smile. Is this a figment of the sculptors imagination or did the divine apsaras themselves come down to earth to witness this spectacle and stopped to strike a pose for this sculptor.

pallavabeauty.jpg
beautiful_ladies_thanks to varalaaru.jpg

( the last image is from varalaaru.com. Would request serious tamil enthusiasts to please visit their site. its an open university on sculpture)

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