The statue is of Dwara-devi, the celestial doorkeeper flanking temple doors. Like its presiding deity, or deities, temples had their various parts adorned with subordinate figures, mostly from the same spiritual mythology, known in the tradition as gandharvas, yakshas, kinnaras, apsaras etceteras. As these semi-divinities attended upon gods in the Indraloka, there presence in a temple, called devalaya or the abode of god, was as much relevant. Thus, in the classical tradition, a fully evolved temple was required to have its various parts adorned with them. Lesser evolved temples had at least their entrances, the main as well as those of the sanctums, adorned with the statues of these celestial beings.
This celestial nymph, reproduced here in brass, is obviously one from the
clan of gandharvas, although the caster has borrowed elements of beauty and
facial features from an apsara and has created his figure by blending the
both. The dwarapala statues, flanking the temple doors could be either male
or female. The male figures are known as dwarapala while the female as
Dwara-devis. The male, almost without exception, stood in tribhanga-mudra,
that is, a posture in which a figure had three curves. The female figures
had rhythm blended in their form, but it only had some kind of semblance of
a dance mode. A lesser evolved temple had the dwarapala or dwara-devi
figures flanking on both sides of its doorjambs only towards its lower part,
but the more evolved ones had two, three or even more dwarapala pairs,
contained in vertically rising recessed niches. The dwarapala figures at the
lower end invariably held in their hand standards, which the tradition
assigned to the enshrining deity. This standard was substituted by a
chanwara often at upper levels but sometimes also at the lower level. The
dwara-devis rarely held a chanwara. They stood either with folded hands and
in a semi-dance mode, as in this statue, or in a fully accomplished dance
Cast by lost wax technique, this wondrous specimen of brass craftsmanship
represents a dwara-devi with her humbly folded hands. As suggests her
superhuman form and beauty, she may also be an apsara saluting her patrons
before commencing a dance. The pair of peacocks on her shoulders may be an
element derived from the folk tradition. Her sharp nose, oval face with an
angular chin and round cheeks, small but emotionally charged eyes, well
defined eyebrows, glowing forehead, heavy but well shaped neck and ear
contours are features characteristically south Indian in their style of
rendering. She has on her head an elaborately incised towering crown usually
associated with Vaishnava gods and goddesses. She has a tall lean figure
with a slender belly and moderate hips. Her beautifully moulded breasts are
partially covered by a bhumipata type ornamented lace. Besides a number of
ornaments on her neck, she has around her shoulders a sash, which has a
brooch like formation of its right end and a flower like on its left. She is
wearing only an adhovashtra, a sari below her waist. Its upper part is tied
with a heavy but beautiful girdle and the rest around her legs with an
ornamented gold lace. This fully adorned statue is both, a unique work of
art and an auspicious presence in the house.
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
How to keep a Brass statue well-maintained?
Brass statues are known and appreciated for their exquisite beauty and luster. The brilliant bright gold appearance of Brass makes it appropriate for casting aesthetic statues and sculptures. Brass is a metal alloy composed mainly of copper and zinc. This chemical composition makes brass a highly durable and corrosion-resistant material. Due to these properties, Brass statues and sculptures can be kept both indoors as well as outdoors. They also last for many decades without losing all their natural shine.
Brass statues can withstand even harsh weather conditions very well due to their corrosion-resistance properties. However, maintaining the luster and natural beauty of brass statues is essential if you want to prolong their life and appearance.
In case you have a colored brass statue, you may apply mustard oil using a soft brush or clean cloth on the brass portion while for the colored portion of the statue, you may use coconut oil with a cotton cloth.
Brass idols of Hindu Gods and Goddesses are especially known for their intricate and detailed work of art. Nepalese sculptures are famous for small brass idols portraying Buddhist deities. These sculptures are beautified with gold gilding and inlay of precious or semi-precious stones. Religious brass statues can be kept at home altars. You can keep a decorative brass statue in your garden or roof to embellish the area and fill it with divinity.
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