Quantcast

Posts Tagged ‘parvathi’

With the HR&CE and temple authorities continuing to be lax in their documentation, this expose shows again the importance of photo documenting our temple treasures.

Little did I realise that this innocuous looking book held within itself a vital clue.

South-indian images of gods and goddesses (1916)

available for free download here

page 109 in the book ( 129 in the pdf) has this photograph of a Somaskanda

book

The label simply states Somaskanda ( metal), sivankudal

038

This is a very unique somaskanda wherein the Siva and Uma have been cast seperately with indivudual pedestals. For those who know about bronze casting, the difficulty of such an attempt is evident - having to match the pedestals not only for height but also for the runner designs.

Thankfully this provides us some vital clues in identifying this bronze, which is currently in the Asian Civilisations Museum being purchased in the year 2000.

museum catalogue
acm somaskanda

Let us compare the two

ss
shiva
uma
skanda
antelope
uma attributes n hands
uma face n ornaments
shiva face n ornaments
pedestal

It is without doubt the same bronze. Further our enquiries have revealed that the temple has no other bronze currently - ie has lost all its treasures. The Book sadly has no other bronzes listed from this temple and from our checking no other book has any references to this temple. It is sadly an ASI protected site with no documentation.

Now, its up to the authorities to investigate this and establish the chain. But if this is confirmed it pushes the string of robberies to pre 2000 and many more temple bronzes and sculptures sold by the dealer into the ambit of “shady” dealings.

Leave a comment »

Christies_Parvati_lot224sale2724

A large and important bronze figure of Parvati
SOUTH INDIA, CHOLA PERIOD, CIRCA 1100

Is how the auction house describes her. Her base price was set for $800,000 - $1,200,000 and she was auctioned for $ 963,750

There is video link describing her and assigning a 11th Century date for her.

Chola bronzes of this height /size and beauty are comparable to the great bronzes just post the Sembian Madevi era and closer to Sri Raja Raja and Rajendra period.
The provenance and buyer information is scarce -

Provenance
Collection of Ariane Dandois, London, acquired in Geneva, 16 March 1977

Literature

C. Vogel, “Global Treasure Trove,” New York Times Magazine, 1 March 1987, pp. 62-66

A casual check reveals nothing about the said bronze in the quoted magazine article.

It would be interesting for readers to read more about the previous owner but that is not our objective.

Now comes the interesting part.

In 1944 there is this interesting article titled

Gauri
A Southern Bronze
By K. B. IYER

image002

One of such pieces is Gauri from the Kailasanath temple, Conjeeveram, now in the collection of Ramgopal, the well-known dancer.

Both tradition and stylistic features distinguish it as an early Chola work of probably the 10th century

Gauri is the Gracious Mother of the Universe, the Better-half of Siva, half-female half-male (Ardha-nariswara). In love and in devotion unexcelled even among the gods, She is the supreme arche-type of conjugal felicity. When love’s darts bruise young maidens’ hearts, their secret prayers are turned to her. It is she who protects them from every shoal and storm on the unchartered sea of married life. Just as Siva as Nata-raja symbolises the cosmic law of rhythm, Parvati in her aspect as Gauri symbolises the universal and eternal female instinct of yearning devotion, aspiration and concern for the male. Isn’t this figure instinct with that poignant feeling which makes the contemplation of beauty a haunting delight?

On first look they look similar, lets analyse them

kai_gauri
kai_gauri2
kai_gauri_hands
kai_gauri_handsrev

There is a problem in the mentioned dimensions.

The 1944 article mentions ” Exclusive of the pedestal which is 9 inches, the figure is 26 inches in height” whereas the auction house measures it as ” 33 1/8 in. (84.2 cm.) high ” - however, the stylistic identifications match to a T.

It is pertinent to note that the Great Chola ruler Raja Raja visited Kanchi Kailasantha temple and was awe struck by it and some consider it to be his inspiration for building the Tanjore Bridhadeshwara temple. A further study of the Chola inscriptions could reveal if this bronze is indeed his gift.

This is obviously the same bronze from the famed Kailasantha temple of Kanchi which somehow landed up with famous dancer Sri Ram Gopal OBE and was with him atleast till 1944.

He passed away in UK in 2003.

How the Gauri went out of India, was sold in Geneva and acquired by the prev owner should be easily available to the auction house. A simple google search reveals the 1944 article and photos. . Considering the current cloud over Chola bronzes, am sure there was enough due deligence done and provenances verified to accord this Bronze ” A large and important bronze figure of Parvati” Tag. If so why was her past erased?

Leave a comment »

 Page 2 of 20 « 1  2  3  4  5 » ...  Last »