Essentially a piece of art for aesthetic delight it is capable of
sublimating by its sheer beauty the minds as also any space, a sitting
chamber, commercial or domestic, or a public place appropriate to its
size, a corridor in a picture hall, hospital, hotel, mall or
departmental store, or a gallery in a museum. The statue inherits this
power to aesthetically transform a venue from the long and great
tradition of Indian aesthetics that set and refined over long
centuries the standard norms of iconography and anatomy for modeling
the figure of a youthful maiden, particularly a ‘nayika’, a heroine in
love, under the Nayika-bheda cult. It also added subordinate imagery
for substantiating some aspects of beauty or for revealing various
emotions or emotional situations, parrot being one of them.
Indian aesthetics have used parrot-imagery more often, literature,
sometimes even on par with human characters of a tale. In Indian way
of life parrots and pigeons are since ages the most dependable means
of communication, though while a pigeon was seen as acting like a
postman couriering written material – a love letter or a secret note,
a parrot was always a faithful messenger carrying the words, sometimes
its own description, of a loving one, a ‘nayika’ or ‘nayaka’, to
another. The ‘nayika’ telling her parrot what it has to convey to her
love has been a favourite theme of a number of medieval statues and
paintings. The parrot imagery has been used equally effectively for
portraying a nayika’s physical beauty, especially her breasts, the
most effective component of a woman’s beauty. A parrot titillating the
nipple of her breast, as represents a sculpture at Khajuraho’s
Parshvanatha temple, or greedily looking at them, as in this
brass-cast, more effectively portrays her breasts’ modeling, ripened
state, toughness, a ripe mango or pomegranate like juicy contents,
gold-like skin-colour, lustre, transparence and overall beauty than
would do any statement, however powerful.
This brass-statue, anodized in deep copper tint, has been moulded and
cast pursuing these standards of classical anatomy and iconography.
Apart a highly balanced anatomy : rounded face to which the style of
hair-dressing further contributes, well aligned neck with broad
shoulders tilted affording rhythmic curve to the entire figure,
elongated slender arms with fine long fingers, well developed breasts
crowned with artistically cast nipples, subdued belly, voluminous hips
and legs in three-curved posture, and iconography with large
thoughtful eyes, sharp well defined nose and small cute lips, the
figure is rare in emotional bearing. Not only the demeanour of her
face even the posture of her hands suggest that she is lost in
thoughts of someone who is away and she is missing him.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture.
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