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Nratya-rata Padmavati

Nratya-rata Padmavati
Availability: Can be backordered
Specifications:
South Indian Temple Wood Carving
5.0 ft x 1.5 ft x 0.5 ft
12.5 kg
Item Code: ZA35
Price: $1390.00
Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
This item can be back ordered
Time required to recreate this artwork: 20 to 24 weeks
Advance to be paid now (% of product value): 20%
Balance to be paid once product is ready: 80%
The amount to be tendered as advance to back order this artwork: $278.00
Viewed 5770 times since 2nd Oct, 2008
This unique art-piece, an outstanding example of South Indian wood work, represents goddess Padmavati in an unusual dance form. The five feet tall and one and a half feet wide statue of the goddess has been carved out of the known Vangai wood obtained from Kalakorchi region of Tamilnadu. The Devi figure has been placed against a thickly foliating vine consisting of conventional leaves though contrarily each branch ends with a realistically carved banana bud suspending from it. The creeper holds on its different parts four auspicious parrots with tails longer than the normal. The arch-like shaped vine sprouting and rising from a lotus bud on pedestal's one side and terminating into another one on pedestal's other side constitutes 'Prabhavali' or the fire-arch for the deity. This arch consisting of foliage, flowers and birds is artistically a highly symbolic and appropriate innovation for 'Prabhavali' for a deity like Padmavati who, different from Lakshmi, has been conceived as lotus like sprouting within the heart of Lord Vishnu and is thus herself a flower.

Padmavati is the South Indian transformation of Lakshmi. Some people consider it only as a transformation of names, that is, as Vishnu is worshipped in South India by the name of Venkatesha or Shrinivasa, so is worshipped Lakshmi by the name of Padmavati. Padma Puran, however, has a full length episode as to how Vishnu re-emerged as Venkatesh with the abstract realisation of Lakshmi or Shri within his heart and thus also acquiring for himself the name 'Shrinivasa' meaning the 'abode of Shri or Lakshmi'. As Lakshmi is said to have sprouted like a lotus in the heart of Vishnu, she has been attributed the name Padmavati, or the one who emerged like a 'Padma' or lotus. In visual representations Padmavati has been, hence, conceived holding in two of her four hands lotus buds ready to sprout.

As Padma Purana has the legend, the great Brahmin Bhragu, deputed by other Brahmins, went to Vishnu for seeking his views as to who of the great Trinity was supreme. Brahma and Shiva ignored him and Vishnu he found asleep with Lakshmi. The enraged sage hit him on his chest. Rising from his sleep Vishnu not only apologized for sleeping untimely but also stored on his bosom the mark of saint's foot as Shrivatsa. Lakshmi, who was lying upon Vishnu's bosom and was alike hit, got enraged and deserted Vishnu in disgust and in protest for his unmanly conduct. Bereaved Vishnu too abandoned Brahmaloka and came to Sheshachala in South. Now Lakshmi, unreconciled, was his abstract realisation. He lay there for long. On the spot, where lay Vishnu, all milk from the udders of the cow of a local ruler dropped. He got the spot dug. To his utter amazement the image of Vishnu was discovered. The king could not perceive Lakshmi as she was not materially present. When the image of Vishnu, renamed now as Venkatesha, was installed in the temple built by the king, devotees thronged around. In the course of time they realised the shadow-like presence of a female figure lying in Venkatesha's bosom. The realisation was transformed as Padmavati who had an identity corresponding to that of Lord Vishnu.

Padmavati is now the principal female deity of South India innovated and conceived in multiple forms and aspects. This fully bejewelled icon of her cast in fine wood represents her in a dance posture. Her forearms represent a beautiful 'Nratya-mudra', an aspect of dance. Fine and well defined features and proportionate figure define her total being. Her large eyes with deep eye-brows and corresponding folds of skin along them have been carved with great mastery. Despite wood as its medium, the entire figure gives the impression of marble in its transparency and tenderness. The artefact is a masterpiece of South Indian iconographic art.

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.

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