and wholly majestic sculpture from Swamimalai, executed in the ‘madhuchista
vidhana’ lost wax technique of bronze casting, portrays the triumphant and
divine union of Vishnu and Lakshmi with the ever-faithful mount or ‘vahana’
Garuda supporting them on a raised lotus plinth. Garuda’s anthropomorphic form,
poised on his knees, holds Vishnu’s two legs gently in his palms, and as
detailed in the Shilaparatna, his wings are open, ready to take the divine
couple to Vaikuntha, their supreme abode. The association of Garuda and Vishnu
symbolises a divine presence and royal kingship, and stately powers to trump
over adharmic kings.
powerful stature of grace and wrath is exhibited in his mannerisms: his ‘ananda
bhava’ raises his front right hand in the fear-dispelling ‘abhaya mudra,’ while
the two hands in back hold his attributes – the ‘sudarshana chakra’ or the war
discus, and the conch. His left fore hand wraps itself around Lakshmi, his shakti,
his supreme consort, who is perched on his lap. As the goddess of wealth,
wisdom, and abundance, she holds the lotus, complimenting her role as the
Mother Goddess for the pantheon of Hindu gods, as well as the ‘Tridevi’
triumvirate of Hindu goddesses. Vishnu’s image of supporting Parvati is
reminiscent of his avatar Varaha supporting the goddess Bhudevi in his arms,
rescuing her from the demon Hiranyakasha who hid the Earth under the primordial
ocean – and this sculptural variation can be accessed here.
variation of this image – as a water colour painting made in the Kangra style –
can be found here.
WHAT IS PANCHALOHA BRONZE AND HOW TO TAKE CARE OF IT ?
Bronze is a metal alloy that has the primary composition of Copper and Tin. There is also an addition of other metals such as Manganese, Aluminium, Nickel, and some non-metals such as Phosphorus. This composition of several metals and non-metals makes Bronze an extremely durable and strong metal alloy. It is for this reason that Bronze is extensively used for casting sculptures and statues. Since Bronze has a low melting point, it usually tends to fill in the finest details of a mould and when it cools down, it shrinks a little that makes it easier to separate from the mould.
" If you happen to have a bronze statue, simply use a cotton cloth with some coconut oil or any other natural oil to clean the statue. "
A village named Swamimalai in South India is especially known for exceptionally well-crafted Bronze icons of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The skilled artisans of this place use Panchaloha Bronze for casting the icons. Panchaloha Bronze is made of five metals; Copper, Zinc, Lead, and small quantities of Gold and Silver. Zinc gives a golden hue to the finished figure and Lead makes the alloy softer for the easy application of a chisel and hammer. The common technique for producing these statues and sculptures is the “Lost-wax” method. Because of the high durability of bronze sculptures and statues, less maintenance is required, and can still last up to many decades.
Exotic India takes great pride in its collection of hand-picked Panchaloha Statues. You will find the murtis of Gods (Krishna, Hanuman, Narasimha, Ganesha, Nataraja, and Kartikeya) and Goddesses (Saraswati, Lakshmi, Durga, and Parvati), and Buddha statues. You can also buy Ritual paraphernalia (Wicks lamp, Puja Kalash, Cymbals, and Puja Flag) on the website. All these statues and items have been made with a lot of care and attention, giving them a flawless finish. Their fine carving detail represents the rich tradition of India.
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