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Essentially a piece of art for aesthetic delight it is capable of sublimating by its sheer beauty the minds as also any space, a sitting chamber, commercial or domestic, or a public place appropriate to its size, a corridor in a picture hall, hospital, hotel, mall or departmental store, or a gallery in a museum. The statue inherits this power to aesthetically transform a venue from the long and great tradition of Indian aesthetics that set and refined over long centuries the standard norms of iconography and anatomy for modeling the figure of a youthful maiden, particularly a ‘nayika’, a heroine in love, under the Nayika-bheda cult. It also added subordinate imagery for substantiating some aspects of beauty or for revealing various emotions or emotional situations, parrot being one of them.
Indian aesthetics have used parrot-imagery more often, literature, sometimes even on par with human characters of a tale. In Indian way of life parrots and pigeons are since ages the most dependable means of communication, though while a pigeon was seen as acting like a postman couriering written material – a love letter or a secret note, a parrot was always a faithful messenger carrying the words, sometimes its own description, of a loving one, a ‘nayika’ or ‘nayaka’, to another. The ‘nayika’ telling her parrot what it has to convey to her love has been a favourite theme of a number of medieval statues and paintings. The parrot imagery has been used equally effectively for portraying a nayika’s physical beauty, especially her breasts, the most effective component of a woman’s beauty. A parrot titillating the nipple of her breast, as represents a sculpture at Khajuraho’s Parshvanatha temple, or greedily looking at them, as in this brass-cast, more effectively portrays her breasts’ modeling, ripened state, toughness, a ripe mango or pomegranate like juicy contents, gold-like skin-colour, lustre, transparence and overall beauty than would do any statement, however powerful.
This brass-statue, anodized in deep copper tint, has been moulded and cast pursuing these standards of classical anatomy and iconography. Apart a highly balanced anatomy : rounded face to which the style of hair-dressing further contributes, well aligned neck with broad shoulders tilted affording rhythmic curve to the entire figure, elongated slender arms with fine long fingers, well developed breasts crowned with artistically cast nipples, subdued belly, voluminous hips and legs in three-curved posture, and iconography with large thoughtful eyes, sharp well defined nose and small cute lips, the figure is rare in emotional bearing. Not only the demeanour of her face even the posture of her hands suggest that she is lost in thoughts of someone who is away and she is missing him.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture.