The quintessential Indian mother-and-child figure. The lovely Devi Parvati cradles Her little Karttikeya in one arm; the other She places gently on the crowned head of baby Ganesha standing right next to Her. With one hand, the elephant-headed deity clutches at the hems of His mother’s dhoti (in the other, of course, there is a laddoo, which is probably what He loves most next to His mother).
In Her iconography as the mother of Shiva’s sons, Devi Parvati is at Her most radiant. A tall crown and ample, traditional shringar. Vines spread about Her shoulders as they cascade from the rim of Her crown. An inimitable expression of karuna (compassion, an unflinching maternal emotion) on Her handsome face. Standing on an upturned-lotus pedestal with Her two children, She is the very picture of grace and what it is like to be feminine.
A warm earthy colour with overtones of green, this colour finish is unique to the panchaloha medium. It refers to the mix of five (‘pancha’) different iron-based (‘loha’ is Sanskrt for iron) alloys, which is the speciality of the traditional sculptors of the South. The long drawn out lost-wax process, expounded in the Agamas as madhuchista vidhana, is responsible for the sheer proportion of detail and finesse in this composition.
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