This image is one of over 108,000 from the AMICA Library (formerly The Art Museum Image Consortium Library- The AMICO Library), a growing online collection of high-quality, digital art images from over 20 museums around the world.
www.davidrumsey.com/amica offers subscriptions to this collection, the finest art image database available on the internet. EVERY image has full curatorial text and can be studied in depth by zooming into the smallest details from within the Image Workspace.
- Cultures and time periods represented
range from contemporary art, to ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian works.
- Types of works include paintings, drawings,
watercolors, sculptures, costumes, jewelry, furniture, prints, photographs,
textiles, decorative art, books and manuscripts.
Gain access to this incredible resource through either a
monthly or a yearly subscription and search the entire collection from
your desktop, compare multiple images side by side and zoom into the minute
details of the images. Visit www.davidrumsey.com/amica
for more information on the collection, click on the link below the
revolving thumbnail to the right, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Creator Nationality: Asian; Indian Sub-Continent; Indian
Creator Dates/Places: South Indian
Creator Active Place: South Indian
Creator Name-CRT: South Indian
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1000
Creation End Date: 1099
Creation Date: Chola period, 11th century
Creation Place: India, Tamil Nadu
Object Type: Sculpture
Classification Term: Bronzes
Materials and Techniques: Copper alloy
Dimensions: H. 7 1/4 in. (18.5 cm)
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1994.003
Credit Line: Asia Society: Gift from the Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund
Context: The bronze sculptures of Hindu gods and Buddhist deities cast during the Chola period (880-1279) are among the most renowned sculptures in world art. The Cholas came to power in the late 9th century, and until the late 13th century ruled a large part of south India from their homeland near Thanjavur on the southeastern coast, maintaining diplomatic ties with countries as distant as China and Indonesia. Chola rulers were active patrons of the arts, and during their rule, literature, dance, and the other performing arts flourished. They also constructed enormous temple complexes decorated with stone representations of the Hindu gods.
Admired for the sensuous depiction of the figure and the detailed treatment of their clothing and jewelry, Chola-period bronzes were created using the lost wax technique, commonly known by its French name, cire perdue. Because each sculpture made in this fashion requires a separate wax model, each is unique, but because they are religious icons, Chola-period sculptures also conform to well-established iconographic conventions.
In addition to representations of Shiva and members of his family, other prominent Hindu deities are depicted in Chola-period bronzes. As it is assumed that each individual is at a different point of spiritual development, Hinduism accepts that each will pursue her or his religious life in the most appropriate manner, and most Hindus venerate several deities, choosing gods or aspects of gods that are appropriate to different situations and life passages. Moreover, Hinduism can be broadly categorized into three branches, each of which is focused on one of three major deities: Shiva, Vishnu, and Devi. According to Hindu beliefs, Vishnu descends to earth in different manifestations known as avatars in order to save the world and restore the balance of the universe. Vishnu appears in many guises, including a man-lion, a giant boar, and the gods Rama and Krishna.
This sculpture represents an unusual form of Vishnu, the Great Preserver in the Hindu pantheon. Striding on two lotus pedestals in front of a large flaming wheel, the god has sixteen arms, each of which once held an attribute. Many of these attributes are difficult to see and a few are missing where Vishnu's hands hands have broken off. It is clear, however, that Vishnu holds a wheel and a conch shell in his uppermost back hands, and a mace and a lotus in two extended front hands. The wheel (chakra) is a symbol for the act of teaching, the practice of rulership, and the passing of time. In Vishnu's iconography, it signifies the god's important role in the preservation and re-creation of the universe. In this small bronze, the large wheel and many hands of Vishnu illustrate the god's function as a universal protector. The strong, full physique of the god and his oval face point to a date in the 11th century.
AMICA ID: ASIA.1994.003
AMICA Library Year: 1999
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright, Asia Society
AMICA PUBLIC RIGHTS: a) Access to the materials is granted for personal and non-commercial use. b) A full educational license for non-commercial use is available from Cartography Associates at www.davidrumsey.com/amica/institution_subscribe.html c) Licensed users may continue their examination of additional materials provided by Cartography Associates, and d) commercial rights are available from the rights holder.
Copyright © 2007 Cartography Associates.
All rights reserved.