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CHOLA BRONZES

|| Sculpture in India||

 

The Pallava and Chola dynasties witnessed the flowering of the bronze casting technique that was extant from the Indus Valley period in India. The Chola bronzes (850-1275 AD) are unparalleled in their depiction of facile expression, the suppleness of the human form and its flowing movements. The famous images of Shiva Nataraja, Parvati, Kodanda Rama and Navaneeta Krishna have perennially delighted devotees and aroused their religious fervour. Besides being votive images, aesthetically, the Chola bronzes mark a phase in the development of Indian sculpture that is simply magnificent in form and style.

The distinctive Chola style emerged during the reign of Aditya Chola (870-906 AD).  The bronzes of this period are characterised by display of supple body with flowing contours and an oval face. The  world-renowned bronze images of Nataraja, the dancing form of Lord Shiva, appeared for the first time during the reign of Parantaka I, Aditya Chola's son. The Chola bronzes after 975 AD are divided into two separate groups: the Sembiyan Mahadev School and Raja Raja School, each having its own characteristic but both developing simultaneously. The bronzes of the Sembiyan School are slender and tall and the figures are adorned by intricate ornamentation. The Konerirjapuram Temple at Thanjavur contains several bronzes of this school. The bronzes of the Raja Raja School are "more masculine and majestic and radiate a sense of power and strength, both physical and spiritual". The Vrishvahana bronze image belongs to this school.

     


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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