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Chola Temple Bronze Statue
Vrishvahana
Transformation of Shiva

Origin: India. Circa: early 20th century
H 15 in.(38cm), W 5.5 in.(14cm), D 4 in.(10cm)
Condition: excellent!

The names and forms of Shiva are many. In the dance of many forms the Nataraj, Shiva’s dance of creation and destruction they are listed as 108 in the Shiva Purana, the deity is revealed in 1000 different aspects. Vrishvahana is one of these. Here Shiva is depicted as the ideal male in this Chola bronze originally cast for temple worship. The statue is deeply compelling in artistry and proportion. A quintessential mark of all Chola bronzes. The distinctive Chola style emerged during the reign of Aditya Chola (870-906 AD) and is characterized by a sensuous beauty, geometrical perfection, powerful presence and an intricacy of design. This depiction of Vrishvahana shows the deity in an artful, lithe pose the moment before movement. The head mount of this Shiva is a symmetrical swirl of the yogi’s dread locks that elegantly transforms into the cobra often seen around Shiva’s neck. The countenance is masculine but pure and peaceful in its gaze. The subtle ornamentation is finely detailed but not overwrought. A statue of an epitome of the human form in an exquisite bronze.


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