In the thick of the woods, the handsome Vrindavan cowherd sits on a mound of rock and verdure. He is playing on the flute, much to the pleasure of the creatures that surround Him. Peacocks and other birds with ornate plumage perch at His feet, arching their long necks backwards to witness His splendour. Flowers bloom open at the touch of His delicate feet, their stems leaning in the direction of His music. Somewhere in the distance, the strains of His flute reach the ears of a passionate Radha who suffers through Her domestic duties and longs feverishly to escape into His arms.
This Lord Krishna composition has been carved from teakwood. It is a fine example of the great sculptural tradition of the South. The monotone earth-coloured finish suits the personal description of the Vishnu-avatara (‘avatara’ is the Sanskrt word of incarnation), widely known and loved for His soft, dark complexion. The degree of complexity of the work complements the monotone. The dense serrations along the body of the mound. The realistic folds of the Lord’s silken dhoti. The intricate folds of the petals of each flower in the garland that cascades down His upper body. Note the sheer proportion of detail in the upper body, from the undulations of His musculature to the ample adornments layered on the same.
Finally, there are the lifelike features of a gracefully composed face, a crown set off with a peacock plumage (indispensable to the iconography of Krishna).
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