16" Dancing Shiva Parvati from Nepal

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Tandava (Shiva’s dance) and Laasya (the dance of Parvati) are the most vibrant and highly reproduced themes in art when it comes to describing the proximity of the divine couple, Shiva and Shakti. The sophisticated and powerful movements of Shiva and Parvati are considered the source of all creation (through Laasya) and destruction (through Tandava). However, sometimes the motivation behind the harmonious dance of Shiva-Parvati is something apart from origination and annihilation. 

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Item Code: WSA087
Specifications:
Copper
Height: 16 inch
Width: 4.9 inch
Depth: 10 inch
Weight: 5.14 kg
Handmade
Handmade
Free delivery
Free delivery
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide

The synchronized movements captured in this brilliant copper composite carry us to the pages of the 13th-century treatise on dance- Nritta Ratnavali. It mentions Natesh (God of Dance) Shiva teaching Laasya to Parvati. Enthralled by the possibility of being close to Parvati through dance, Shiva asks her to copy his moves. This heavenly togetherness of Shiva-Shakti is revealed here. Poised and graceful, both are completely engrossed in dancing. Parvati, the active female aspect inspires and empowers Shiva to play his damru (drum) whose beats flow through Srishti (creation) whose personification is- Parvati. The slender and glistening limbs of Shiva and Parvati are adorned with beautiful jewellery. They wear tasteful dhotis (lower body garments) in the kaccha style whose pleats open charmingly in the shape of a fan between their legs. Creepers spring out of the upturned lotus-shaped platform, signalling the germination of life when Purush (Shiva) and Prakriti (Parvati) come together. The style of modelling, jewellery, hairstyle of the subjects, and their meditative expressions suggest that these copper idols are from Nepal, where Shaivism, centred on the reverence of Shiva and Parvati as the manifestation of the supreme consciousness is one of the oldest religious traditions. 


The Nritta Ratnavali describes this divine dance as an esoteric conversation between Shiva and Parvati, to remain hidden even from their own children. Ganesh, the adored younger child is sometimes said to attempt and mimic the moves of his mother, providing parental bliss to Shiva and Parvati with this innocent endeavour. Oh, how similar we are, the children of Shiva and Shakti, looking at the activities of the universe in awe, at the rise and fall of life, whose tangible form is this dancing Shiva-Parvati statue!


How are Nepalese copper statues made?

Nepalese statues and sculptures are best known for their unique small religious figures and ritual paraphernalia for over two thousand years. These are mainly cast in copper alloy. Nepal draws influences from the artistic styles of Buddhism and Hinduism, and therefore the sculptors of the country specialize in making the icons of both these religions. Over the years, Nepalese sculptures evolved into their own distinctive iconography. Some characteristic features of these sculptures that differ from other pieces are exaggerated physical postures, youthful and sensual features, languid eyes, wider faces having serene expressions, and ornate flourishes. The Buddhist deity icons of Nepal have tremendous demand in countries such as China and Tibet for ritual purposes in their temples and monasteries.

Nepalese statues and sculptures have a high copper content and therefore develop a slightly reddish patina on the surface as they age. However, the most unique feature of Nepalese copper statues is their decorative detailing. The pieces are heavily gilded and sometimes inlaid with semi-precious stones. This embellishment protects them from getting tarnished. The traditional lost-wax method for casting Nepalese copper statues remains the most practiced technique in Nepal for many centuries. This process involves many steps and requires skilled artists.

The first step in lost-wax sculpting is to make a wax replica of the desired Buddhist deity to be cast in copper. This replica is created by hand and therefore needs excellent artistic skills otherwise fine features will be lacking.

Once the wax replica is made, it is then coated with a special mixture of clay with a brush. This layer of clay is hardened when left to dry. A small hole is made on the base of the wax mould so that the wax flows away when it is heated.
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At this stage, a hollow mould in the shape of the deity is obtained.

This is the time to pour liquid copper into the hollow mould which is then allowed to cool and harden inside a container of cold water. When the liquid metal has hardened, the mould is removed and the statue within is revealed.
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The artist works on the details of the statue using various tools. It is then polished to get a shiny and lustrous surface.

Now comes the most important part of Nepalese art which is gold gilding. This is done by the traditional fire gilding method. A mixture of mercury and 18K gold is applied on the surface of the statue and heat is applied using a flame torch. The result is that mercury evaporates along with impurities, leaving a pure 24K gold finish. Image
The lost-wax method of sculpting is the most preferred technique for artists to cast a metallic statue having intricate details. Since Nepalese copper sculptures require extraneous effort for giving a majestic look by adding special embellishments, it takes several weeks to complete one masterpiece. A 24K gold gilded copper sculpture retains its brilliant luster for many years and appears as like before. Nepalese sculptures continue to remain one of the finest specimens of the art of the East that have a strong aesthetic appeal that other sculptures cannot match.
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