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An example of perfect craftsmanship, even the smallest of beads set or wreathed into an ornament revealing absolute clarity and distinction, the figure of Krishna has been represented as fully absorbed in blowing his flute and in the ecstasy he fails to notice when his legs twist to its notes and move to a form of dance sending his entire figure into multi-curves, though strangely, despite such irregular anatomy the statue is unique in balancing the parts and in figural grace. It evolves as evolves a lyric in mind creating rhythm and breathing music’s softness. An ornament’s precision and beauty define its form, and a rivulet’s flow, the fluidity of its lines. The three-curved posture – Tri-bhanga ‘mudra’, the most often represented form of Krishna’s image tempting every eye by its beauty, is more often an aspect of his Benu-Gopala manifestation, perhaps because it is the melody of his flute that twists his legs and the entire figure.
For the artist, Krishna is Vishnu; he hence conceives Krishna’s figure Vishnu-like with four arms, upper two, holding in them ‘chakra’ – disc, and ‘shankha’ – conch, and with the lower, blowing his flute; and in this model he surpasses Vishnu for while Vishnu employs his all four hands in holding instruments of war, for protecting his devotees or eliminating their tormenters, Krishna accomplishes this objective with just two, employing other two for redeeming them from the worldly bonds and for their transcendence. Beauty of form born either of music, dance, ‘bhava’ or divine grace, are Krishna’s instruments of redeeming, not Vishnu’s.
It is just for a little elevation that the image of Lord Krishna has been installed on a moderately conceived ‘pitha’ or pedestal. It comprises conventionalised lotus motifs. Lord Krishna is wearing a beautifully surging antariya and as beautiful a sash unfurling on either side. He has on his waist a broad beautifully designed and cast girdle with delightfully designed ornamental laces and frills suspending from it. Most attractive component of his ornaments is his thickly wreathed flower-garland. Some ornament or other, each gracefully designed and revealing a kind of unearthliness, adorns his figure from toe to head. Another component of his adornment that fascinates by its rare beauty is his crown and halo, both beautifully conceived and carved. Sharp feature, round face and a balanced anatomy define his form. The artist has treated his figure with emotional concern. It is exceptional in modeling, plasticity, anatomical balance, in revealing divine aura and in everything that imparts beauty.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books.