“Venugopala”- Krishna as the pala (protector) of Go (cows and cattle) playing sweet melodies on his flute known as “Venu”, is one of the most popular and mesmerizing depictions of the dark-skinned lord in Hinduism. Krishna in this wooden Venugopala murti is divinely adorned by the sculptor and strikes his distinctive “Tribhanga” (triple bent) posture. A heavenly four-armed (Chaturbhuja) aspect of Venugopala, this form of Sri Krishna in art is the conception of Krishna as the Universal cowherd god, who leads the innumerable masses of living beings through the ocean of existence (Bhava Sagara), with the tunes of his Venu acting as the guiding strings to the souls.
Standing elegantly on a rectangular lotus pedestal, Sri Krishna in this wooden statue is covered in ornate ornaments that enhance the grandeur of the composition. Like a creeper filled with the life essence of youth, Krishna’s body bends and is beautified by a tasseled Mukuta (crown), earrings, necklaces, armbands, Vaijayanti mala (Krishna’s celestial floral garland), anklets, and an ornate Mekhala (girdle) with its jeweled chains forming a short, gemmed dhoti (lower body garment) for this wooden fluting Krishna murti. In his primary hands, Krishna holds a flute while his secondary hands carry the attributes of Sri Vishnu- a chakra (discus) and shankha (conch). Tassels from this heavenly ayudha (weapons) as well as the fringes of this wooden Venugopala’s ornamentation seem to be graciously falling.
The Gau mata or cow behind Sri Krishna is beautifully ornamented and has a U-shaped Vaishnava tilak on her forehead. As a symbol of her affection for her protector, the cow lovingly licks Krishna's curved foot. As if meditating on the notes that he plays, Sri Krishna with his lotus eyes gently opening is the picture of divine transcendence. Placed in your space, in front of the ritual lamp, this wooden Krishna is capable of casting the most gripping shadow on the wall and on a devoted heart.
How to care for Wood Statues?
Wood is extensively used in sculpting especially in countries like China, Germany, and Japan. One feature that makes the wood extremely suitable for making statues and sculptures is that it is light and can take very fine detail. It is easier for artists to work with wood than with other materials such as metal or stone. Both hardwoods, as well as softwood, are used for making sculptures. Wood is mainly used for indoor sculptures because it is not as durable as stone. Changes in weather cause wooden sculptures to split or be attacked by insects or fungus. The principal woods for making sculptures and statues are cedar, pine, walnut, oak, and mahogany. The most common technique that sculptors use to make sculptures out of wood is carving with a chisel and a mallet. Since wooden statues are prone to damage, fire, and rot, they require proper care and maintenance.
It is extremely important to preserve and protect wooden sculptures with proper care. A little carelessness and negligence can lead to their decay, resulting in losing all their beauty and strength. Therefore, a regular clean-up of the sculptures is a must to prolong their age and to maintain their shine and luster.
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