kanjivaram sarees have dominated the world of South Indian saris since ages and are a popular attire among women across the globe because of its shiny, smooth and durable fabric. They originated from a town called Kanchipuram in Chennai, hence are also called Kanchipuram saris. These saris are woven from pure mulberry silk thread that comes from South India and the zari borders and designs come from Gujarat. The one shown here is a masterpiece of its kind, handpicked by our expert team from the selected lots. This sari is woven in a royal black and red combination making it an elegant wear in various occasions and festivities.
The border color and design are generally different from the body, like the one here has a plain and soft caviar black body complemented by a lustrous red zari border and pallu. The border and pallu of Kanjivaram silks are woven separately and then delicately interlocked with the sari in a strong stitch; they form the highlight of a kanjivaram silk with the border designed here in a zari thread in temple style and pallu decorated with elephant layers at the top followed by a mesh of flowers and paisleys. Owning a kanjivaram is a symbol of luxury and a must have variety in the wardrobe.
A divine incarnation of goddess Lakshmi and the consort of Lord Venkateshwara, she is Devi Padmavati. This Hindu deity is the goddess of elemental prakriti; her name in Sanskrit refers to ‘the one who emerged from lotus’. The extreme beauty of this brass statue is one of a kind. She sits in lalitasana on a vertical blooming double lotus throne, which is supported by a high raised supremely carved pedestal. The base is structured exquisitely and carved in elaborate Devi figures; divided in six rectangular portions by thick floral inscribed vertical bars, it complements the aesthetic vibes of the deity.
This sculpture is inspired from the characteristic Orissa art style, which has its clarity in symbols and other elements. The luxuriously carved prabhavali along with a Kirtimukha at the top is a feature akin to Orissa tradition. You may notice the round and broadened face and other features, also the belly of the figure protrudes out of its proportion highlighting towards the Orissa art tradition.
The goddess carries two lotuses each in her rear hands and anterior hands are placed in abhaya and varada mudra respectively, blessing the devotees of all the positivity; bejewelled graciously in multiple treasures placed in absolute beauty on her body and the carvings of her garbs accentuate the skills and mesmerized imagination of the sculptor. Have a look at the long multi-layered crown, chiselled heavily in varied minute patterns and a leaf-like broch takes the centre place, all justifying the South Indian temple carvings.
It is an intricately sculpted bronze, a superior hallmark of the workmanship of the South. Lord Vishnu, the presiding deity over the preservation of existence, is seated in lalitasana on a four-legged throne. His wife, Devi Lakshmi, is sitting on His lap. She is the presiding deity over wealth and resources; and, as such, She is indispensable to Him. One hand He raises in blessing, while the other He puts around Her waist. She holds a lotus-bud in one hand; the other She rests gently on Her lap. The language of their bodies, their composite stance, is one of calm and stability. In other words, this sculpture would exude a world of sattvaguna wherever it is installed.
Suggestions of the Hoysala style are to be found in the legs of the throne shaped like a lion’s paw and the network of vine down the frontal midline; the shringar of Lord Vishnu and Devi Lakshmi, and the aureole that stems from the backs of the lions that flank the Vishnu-Lakshmi ensemble. The simple yet elegant aureole, with its multiple curves, completes the beauty of the sculpture.
In a private chamber within their home in Vrindavan, where there is only a tiny window to let in a modest quantum of light. Built into the grey mud walls of the background is a column of shelves from floor to ceiling, a common feature in the rural homes of the subcontinent. The same are lined with the family’s choicest chests and utensils. The mother and child are in the foreground: out of an old velvet-lined sandook (chest) she pulls out the finest jewels in her possession and bedecks her little baby with them.
Note the sharp contrast between the vivid colours of the foreground and the matte grey background. Fresh jasmines hold the mother’s bun in place; gold and pearls adorn her neck and ears and nose. A pale purple-coloured saree and glimmering gold bangles. There is the signature peacock plume in Lord Gopala’s black hair and streams of pearls in His hair and around His neck. With His delicate infantine hands He clutches at a necklace of gold and rubies.
Maa Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge and the consort of Brahma, the creator. She is the dawn goddess whose cosmic rays dispel the darkness of ignorance. This wooden Saraswati sculpture is an effective work of art, highlighting the carver’s unique aesthetic sense and professional skills that enhance the charmness and delicacy of goddess Saraswati. This sculpture is moulded with the highest quality teak wood from South India that makes it a supremely durable and long lasting piece maintaining the smoothness, gloss and sharp formations of the goddesses’ iconography. As you zoom in to the image, you can’t stop yourself from applauding the blended vertical pattern in light brown and dark brown shades.
Goddess Saraswati sculpture is shown here as sitting on a high raised lotus pedestal in lalitasana posture, holding her extremely carved Veena, as symbolic of Saraswati being the goddess of art, two of her hands hold a pen and the book of Vedas respectively, highlighting goddess Saraswati’s inclination towards knowledge and wisdom, right posterior hand holds the rosary. This Hindu deity is considered to be the most beautiful of all and her innate delicacy and graciousness is accurately carved through the features of her face; Jeweled lavishly in multiple royal pendant necklace, long earrings along with matching bracelets, anklets and a nath.
Goddess Saraswati is adorned in a flamboyant ankle length dhoti beatified with a floral border and a complementing floral blouse that fits gracefully on her chest. Saraswati is always accompanied with Hamsa (swan), which is her auspicious vahana, hence she is also named as Hamsavahini; one sits near her legs, carved extravagantly and one other on the right side of her designer crown. This Saraswati sculpture is glorified with a multiple layered crown, chiseled precisely in gracious flower pattern.
This bitone ensemble has been made by folk artisans from Puri. It is a fine example of pattachitra, ‘patta’ being the local word for the organic canvas on which the image (chitra) is drawn. A skilfully done composite of Shivaleela, each panel is painted with superb precision and attention to detail. Note how one episode of the Lord’s divine playfulness (leela) is distinguished from the other by petal-like curves and lines filled in with minimalistic floral motifs.
Each panel of this composite work of art is good enough for an independent composition, albeit a miniature one. To the top left is the gracious Lord Adinath, father of the knowledge of yoga. In the same row and down the right side are panels that depict Him in togetherness with His wife, Devi Parvati. In one, they are on the back of Nandi. In the inner panels He is shown to triumph over demons and enemies of adharma. More of Devi Parvati is to be found in the laterally arranged panels, in one of which to the left She is seated in the poorna-padmasana.
Ashtalakshmi are a group of eight manifestations of Hindu goddess Lakshmi. She presides over the eight sources of wealth which are, prosperity, fertility, good fortune, good health, knowledge, strength, progeny and power. Each of the goddess Lakshmi’s miniature eight forms- Adi Lakshmi (Primeval and an ancient form of Lakshmi), Dhana Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth), Dhanya Lakshmi (goddess of agricultural wealth), Gaja Lakshmi (giver of animal wealth), Santana Lakshmi (goddess of bestowing offspring), Veera Lakshmi (goddess who bestows valour during battles), Vijaya Lakshmi (giver of victory) and Vidya Lakshmi (goddess of bestower of knowledge of arts and sciences), are sculpted with great care in lustrous brass.
The jet-black wooden case is built specially for these Ashtalakshmi set in a stylized, organized and a unique pattern of three layers with the additional beauty of an auspicious diya kept on the bottom layer in centre and two bells hanging at the top, visualizing it as a complete miniature temple. It is framed and put together with the sculptor’s unmatched skills that can be discovered only in the orient.
The ruling deities of paraloka (otherworldly realm of existence) are seated on a green velvet couch. He is chaturbhujadhari (possessed of four arms) with the damroo and the trishoola in the posterior hands, while She is dvibhujadhari (two-armed) and holds up a lotus in one hand. This is in keeping with their traditional iconographies. In stark contrast to His austere appearance, dressed as He is in a tigerskin loincoth and rudrakshas aplenty, Her red silks and jewels are symbolic of their otherworldly glory.
The graceful Nandi kneels on the other side of the altar (the two bhaktas are making eye contact with each other). The richly carved wooden pillars of the temple hold up a glamorous set of domes. The flower laden canopy grazes its zenith. Snow-coated peaks into the distance, and miles upon miles of verdure. It is almost as if the temple has sprung up on the spot as if by magic, just so that the Lord may consecrate the brothers’ efforts.
A compact, handheld sculpture. Devi Mariamman is seated in lalitasana in the mouth of a lotus. She is the chaturbhujadharini, the one possessed of (‘dharini’) four (‘chatur’) arms (‘bhuja’). In Her hands She holds a lotus (posterior right), a conch (posterior left), a long and slender weapon indicative of Her wrathful streak (anterior right), and a bowl (anterior left). From the navel downwards She is clad in a silken dhoti, while a world of shringar graces the youthful, maternal curves of Her upper body. Her attire is a signature element of the iconography of the South.
In addition to the same, other signature elements of Southern workmanship are the angular face set with sharp, handsome features; a tall, tapering crown; and the Kirtimukham aureole that stems straight from the pedestal. A ferocious snake raises its five conjoined hoods above Her crown, another expression of the wrathful streak of Devi Mariamman.
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