Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Shiva as Nataraja Description
This is a sculpture of Shiva, made in India during the Chola period, 11-12th century. It is made from bronze and is 32" in height. The lines used in this piece are almost all rounded and formed around the figure. There are many square-like patterns used around the ring of the sculpture and also in the jewelry around Shiva's neck and in the base. The value in the piece shows Shiva as slightly lighter bronze than the rest of the sculpture, presumably so that she stands out more. The figure itself is posed with arms out to the sides, holding up the ring around it, and its other arms are facing outward towards the viewer. Its leg is also held outward while the other leg stands atop a demon-like figure. The sculpture has a surprising amount of negative space around the main focus of the piece. The texture looks very smooth in the figures and the base, but the head piece and the ring around the sculpture looks very sharp or even menacing in some way. The flames around the ring gives the piece a sense of power and ferocity.
The balance and movement of this piece were perfected very nicely. The piece, although more left side oriented, still remains balanced due to the ring and the figure along the bottom. There is a large sense of unity in this piece and everything works very well together, even though the flames are not used anywhere else in the piece. They still serve a visually pleasing purpose. The proportions show that Shiva is the main focus, rather than the demon she is standing on and the ring, although larger than Shiva, still keeps the attention held on her. There is a lot of emphasis on Gods standing on demons to show their power and I think the piece really demonstrates power and strength as well as protection.
Image Attribution: Augustus Binu