It is a very delicate moment between husband and wife. She is clearly not succeeding in her pure, womanly endeavour given the translucence of the fabric. Her beauty, despite the nakedness, lies within the sacred precinct of her husband's singular presence, whose gaze she returns helplessly, almost pleadingly. Her skin is a roseate fair, the the dull gold of her ornaments almost blending in with her complexion. The soft, rounded features of her face make for a beauty that pleases as opposed to one that pleasures, that is inspiring and not intimidating. The dark green of the background brings out the subject, and the disarray she is in, with perfection.
Her slender torso is bedecked with a number of necklaces, each carved with greater skill than the other. A couple of lotuses in full bloom are entwined with Her sash on either side of Her. Her legs are placed in padmasana. The high double-lotus pedestal of this sculpture bears huge prominent petals, setting off off the lissome frame of the Goddess to perfection.
The Ardhanarishvara stands against a background of dense sunset-coloured clouds. A network of green vines and pink and white blooms frame the figure, like a natural aureole. The central figure is formed in the best proportions of both the male and the female forms, the distinction between the two given away by colour as well as silhouette. Decked up in streams of pearly white shringar, the silk clothing of the divine is held below the navel by a kirtimukha brooch and floats about the figure as if floating. The pale blue clouds at the feet of Devi Parvati and the blue jets of stream at Lord Shiva's complement the vibrant colour palette that dominates the composition. The soothing effect of these colours are matched the superb calm on the beauteous face of the divine.
It is an unassuming colour palette - rose gold and moss green and steely silver, all of which are in seductive, translucent tints. This bracelet would go with a wide variety of outfits. Think everyday western-wear, contemporary suits and sarees, or Indo-western moods. It will not only up the glamour quotient of your presence, but also serve to make a statement grounded in ethnic fashion. Charming and quirky, it is a superbly youthful piece and one to turn heads and start conversations whenever you are wearing it.
The structure of the dress is such as to highlight the woman's form and whatever she has by way of tallness. The straight-fit kameez comes with a deep neckline, which is complemented by the superbly long sleeves and low hemline. Crocheting work in blue makes up the designed panel at the centre against the yellow, the hem defined by more crocheted panels in varying colours. The signature choodidar trousers complements the rest of the dress. The chiffon dupatta, as light and translucent and dominantly pink as it is, completes the glamour of this dress.
Marble is a difficult medium to work with. It takes years of learning and practice to perfect one's way around stone. The marble sculptures that you see in our collection, of which this is a fine example, have been handpicked with the greatest care. Note the sheer degree of skill that must have gone into this number - the Devi's and Her lion's minute proportions such as the digits and the expressive facial features, the stateliness of the lifelike posture, and detailing in the weapons. Hints of gold detailing in the adornments of the two as well as the weapons bring out the pristine colour of the high-quality marble. The composition has been placed on a relatively austere pedestal to highlight the aforementioned details.
It is the superbly carved pendant that is the most statement-making aspect of this devotional neckpiece. Zooming in on the sacred figurines would enable you to appreciate the precision and skill that have gone into the work. The altar is replete with serrated pillars and an engraved roof rimmed with lotus petals, typical of South Indian temple architecture. The haloes of Shiva-Parvati are intact, and it is on Nandi Himself that they are seated. A jade-coloured gem sits on the roof of the temple, besides the dark red stones that punctuate the silver in the rest of the neckpiece. Note the pearly white drops beneath the pendant that add to its beauty.
It is pure pashmina, the colour of jet black dusk. Adding to the allure of the foundation black is the dense embroidery in the foreground. The colour palette is decidedly feminine - pinks, oranges, and reds with hints of blues and greens - such that it could go with a wide variety of evening sarees and suits. Zoom in on the work to appreciate the precision and symmetry with which it has been carried out, that also by hand. It is this rare skill with the needle, as well as the time and labour that have been put into this wearable work of art, that would make this pashmina shawl your most statement buy of the season.
She stands on an two-tiered inverted lotus pedestal as she strums on her veena. It is said that when a yogini bursts into music, she enchants nature itself. This yogini is clad in a dhoti that is tied beneath her navel and drops to well above her ankles. Layers of traditional Indian shringar clothes her upper body as well as her feet. She has a gorgeous silhouette, to which the stringed instrument she holds is a fine complement. Her full face is framed by kundalas and a crown that rests delicately on her head, beneath which is gathered all her hair. The glow on her skin, which is characteristic of yoginis, and the general dynamicism of the composition are proof of the sculptor's superb skill.
Usually, the central motif that constitutes the theme of the thangka is painted by the most experienced monk that leads the group. The symbols and motifs that complete the painting - the fire-wielding snake-dragons and other fauna included here, clouds, leaves, mountains, and rivulets - are done under his supervision by the junior monks. Seated Shiva and Parvati are leaning against each other, steeped in conversation. Solemn and gathered, their divine stance befits the luxuriance of this thangka. Statement-making jewel tones, a dusky black backdrop, the lush Himalayan landscape, this thangka is the very image of Kailash Mansarovar, the home of Shiva-Parvati.
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