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|Time required to recreate this artwork:||4 to 6 weeks|
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Thus, not a disembodied divine authority or concept that the believing mind nurtures, Durga is perceived as a dynamic presence – a militant goddess, with a form, and in an act vanquishing the dark and everything adverse to life and protecting good and righteous. Obviously, even as votive, this form of her image is largely uncommon. As has almost rigidified in mind, this eighteen-armed lion-seated form of Durga represents on one hand rare feminine beauty and imperishable youth, and on the other, as one who carries in her hands various instruments of war and on her face the determination to avenge her devotee’s tormenter and punish a wrong-doer. Rarer is the unique quiescence that reflects on her face and her confidence as if triumph is the foregone conclusion of all her battles against evil.
Using astonishing skill the artist has created rhythmic vibrancy in conceiving as many as eighteen arms on one torso, which could otherwise be quite odd and cumbersome. He has transformed her usual golden complexion into the light blue, perhaps to match flowing water’s ripples or to reflect clouds’ form, which her arms seem to transform into and create a rhythm. The artist has conceived her form as stationary, and the weapons she is carrying as mere attributes characteristic to her form, perhaps not for immediate use for otherwise she would not hold both bow and arrow on one and the same side, and sword and shield, on the other. In her right side hands she is carrying noose, mace – an elongated and heavier one, lotus, bowl, ‘parashu’ – axe, shield, sword, ‘kamandala’ – water-pot with handle and spout, and staff. On her left, she is holding disc, trident, conch, spear, rod with a jagged edge, arrow, bow, triple-bladed trident and bell. The arrow in her hand apart, she also has on her back a gold-quiver full of venomous arrows.
The goddess is seated on her mount lion with each of her legs suspending on either side. The lion is in stationary position, though fully enthused is also ready to gallop and charge. The goddess has on her face absolute composure though not without a sense of concern. She has an elongated face with receding chin, sharp nose, thoughtful eyes, arched eye-brows, broad forehead, small well-shaped lips and a longer neck. Elegantly modeled she has a tall slim figure with fine long fingers and lotus-palms. She is putting on a majestic Vaishnava crown with a pair of framing rings, gold-bangles, necklaces, armlets, foot and finger ornaments, all embedded with rubies, emeralds and other precious stones, besides a garland of lotus-buds. Her face radiates into rings of light which halo-like frame her face.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books.