Bronze as a medium of sculpture is the heritage of the South. Amongst brass and stone and organic media like wood, bronze stands out as an elite medium to work with. While it was a thing with local sculptors since the Pallava dynasty was in power, it gained prominence under the patronage of the art-loving Chola dynasty rulers around five centuries later. As such, the work of art that you see on this page draws from centuries of a deeply devotional (shivam) and aesthetic (sundaram) tradition.
The handsome Lord Vishnu stands on the extended pistil of a compact lotus bloom. He is tall and built in the finest proportions of purushatva (masculine being). He is at the very centre of the creative-projective Hindu trinity of Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva, and His glory has been captured by the artisan in a superb aesthetic. There is something about the undulations of His musculature, in the ratio of His limbs, and in that composure of countenance that inspires the onlooker with a sense of dharma and harmony.
There is a skilfully sculpted dhoti around His legs. The adornments and the implements in His four hands (He is chaturbhujadhari) are minimal, yet carved with a great deal of detail. These add to the aura of Lord Vishnu. So does the inimitable colour of bronze, a deep matte gold with green overtones. The composition described so far is poised on an elegantly sculpted plinth characterised by three tiers.
WHAT IS PANCHALOHA BRONZE AND HOW TO TAKE CARE OF IT ?
Bronze is a metal alloy that has the primary composition of Copper and Tin. There is also an addition of other metals such as Manganese, Aluminium, Nickel, and some non-metals such as Phosphorus. This composition of several metals and non-metals makes Bronze an extremely durable and strong metal alloy. It is for this reason that Bronze is extensively used for casting sculptures and statues. Since Bronze has a low melting point, it usually tends to fill in the finest details of a mould and when it cools down, it shrinks a little that makes it easier to separate from the mould.
" If you happen to have a bronze statue, simply use a cotton cloth with some coconut oil or any other natural oil to clean the statue. "
A village named Swamimalai in South India is especially known for exceptionally well-crafted Bronze icons of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The skilled artisans of this place use Panchaloha Bronze for casting the icons. Panchaloha Bronze is made of five metals; Copper, Zinc, Lead, and small quantities of Gold and Silver. Zinc gives a golden hue to the finished figure and Lead makes the alloy softer for the easy application of a chisel and hammer. The common technique for producing these statues and sculptures is the “Lost-wax” method. Because of the high durability of bronze sculptures and statues, less maintenance is required, and can still last up to many decades.
Exotic India takes great pride in its collection of hand-picked Panchaloha Statues. You will find the murtis of Gods (Krishna, Hanuman, Narasimha, Ganesha, Nataraja, and Kartikeya) and Goddesses (Saraswati, Lakshmi, Durga, and Parvati), and Buddha statues. You can also buy Ritual paraphernalia (Wicks lamp, Puja Kalash, Cymbals, and Puja Flag) on the website. All these statues and items have been made with a lot of care and attention, giving them a flawless finish. Their fine carving detail represents the rich tradition of India.
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