The majestic Lord Ganesha is seated on an upturned-lotus throne. This chaturbhujadhari (the one possessed of four arms) figure seated in lalitasana is a widely loved and worshipped roopa (form) of the deity. What makes this a unique work of art is the medium in which it is fashioned and the finesse with which it has been executed. It is a panchaloha sculpture handpicked from the finest studios of Swamimalai, home of contemporary traditional-style bronze sculptures.
To begin with, panchaloha is the name given to the unique alloy medium. It is made up of five (‘pancha’) different kinds of alloys of iron (‘loha’), which accounts for the characteristic colour finish. It is not only the medium but also the iconography that has distinguished Southern handiwork for centuries: from the Lord’s shringar to the peacock brackets and the temple-style prabhavali (aureole).
Zoom in on each aspect of this murti to appreciate the finesse of the work, achieved through the lost-wax process (expounded in the Agamas as ‘madhuchista vidhana’). The realistic curve of Ganesha’s long trunk, the lifelike stance of His chubby child’s limbs and pot belly. The little mouse, His vahana (divine mount), is at His feet and holds up a laddo as offering.
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