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Chola Bronze Buddha 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 in this Chola bronze, Shiva is depicted as the ideal male, perfect in proportion, he is deeply compelling in his physical beauty. Indeed this portrayal of the perfect human form is a quintessential mark of 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. The depiction of the body is extraordinarily supple, again an epitome of the human form. This is an exquisite bronze in excellent condition.


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