Almost a universal position in Indian iconography, conventions and
norms, the place of the female spouse is on the left of the male. In
scriptures ‘vama’, one who is on the left, is the other name for the
wife. In all sculptures, or images, representing the divine couple,
Lakshmi is invariably represented on Vishnu’s left. Contrarily, this
brass-statue has been cast with Lakshmi as seated on his right. In
accordance to the Rig-Veda that by various epithets : ‘Urugay’, one
who walked with long strides, ‘Khsipra’, one who moved fast, and many
more that it used for Vishnu, and as how the subsequent texts and
Vaishnava tradition perceived Vishnu, especially in the role of
world’s Commander, his images that emerged in visual tradition
represented him mostly in standing posture, and sometimes, reclining,
seated only very rarely.
Standing or seated, his images with Lakshmi are formal postures
revealing majesty and readiness to act appropriate for the World
Commander. This ‘lalitasana’ posture revealing carefree ease,
aesthetic beauty and romantic poise is foreign to Vishnu’s form. The
four-armed form has been conceived as holding his most usual
attributes : disc, conch, lotus and mace; however, the overall bearing
revealing emotional fervour is quite unlike Vishnu’s primordial form.
The artist seems to have taken from Krishna’s iconography, one of Lord
Vishnu’s incarnations, this style of rounded face and emotionally
charged dreamy eyes – the more often adopted face-form for romantic
icons, and a crown, though rich and gorgeous, not Vishnu-like towering
and revealing his majesty, with a crest on the right looking like a
peacock-feather. Though she is carrying in her right hand a lotus, a
prominent aspect of the image and the essence of Lakshmi’s
iconography, the representation has reflections of Radha’s face.
With one of his arms resting partially on his mace and partially on
the bolster that also supports his back, Lord Vishnu is seated in
semi-reclining posture on the cushion-like laid body of the great
serpent Shesha. On his right is seated Lakshmi, a quite straightened
normal two-armed figure. Lakshmi is holding in her right hand a lotus,
while the left has been conceived as lying on her left thigh in full
ease. Elegantly bejeweled using a wide range of ornaments : a rich
crown, ornaments for ears, neck, breast, arms, wrists, waist and feet,
and costumed in the traditional sari the image of Lakshmi reveals rare
grace. A balanced anatomy, the figure of Lakshmi has been conceived
with a round face, thoughtful eyes and a smile on lips. Lord Vishnu is
putting on a crown not as tall as these are in his other images,
besides other ornaments a garland of fresh Parijat flowers and a large
‘antariya’. He has on his forehead a prominent Vaishnava ‘tilaka’
mark. The statue has under the figure of serpent Shesha some tides
like looking arabesques forms symbolising perhaps Kshirasagara, the
mythical ocean of milk and the seat of Vishnu where he reclines on the
body of serpent Shesha, or the vegetation symbolic of cosmos that Lord
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.
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.
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