This statue, an excellent work of metal-cast, represents Krishna as playing on his flute. He knows not when his legs moved to a dance mode and entire figure twisted to its notes, sending it into multi-curves. He is enraptured by the melody, which he himself is creating on his flute. Though this flute-playing form of Krishna is one of his most popular manifestations in his Lalita-rupa, it nonetheless reveals the pith of Vaishnava mysticism too. He, Who Himself is the Creator of Maya, the manifest world, is as much its slave. The divine ecstasy, which his flute effects, leaves the flute player transformed into a rhythmic trance. Now from his face and figure reveals the divine bliss and the unique bhava, in which blends contentment, rapture, and essence of music, dance and divine grace. The bhava also reveals in the entire cosmos, which his sash, flanking on sides, represents by its ecstatic curves.
Iconography, especially modeling of eyes, adornment and atmosphere that the artist created around the figure of Krishna in this statue, adhere to Orissa tradition of Vaishnava art. In Orissa, Krishna is not one of the incarnations of Vishnu but himself Vishnu or Jagannath. For emphasising this unity of Vishnu and Krishna, the artist conceived Krishna with the towering Vaishnava crown and tilaka. A couple of peacock feather surmounting it, however, turns it to Krishna-cult. In classical imagery, Vishnu is always conceived with a halo and lotus and Krishna very rarely. This image of Krishna has a halo behind its head. The halo comprises a ring of lotuses. Both lotuses and halo are elements of Vaishnava image. The artist, however, so shaped the halo and lotuses that they look more like a peacock feather rather than a halo and become part of Krishna.
The figure of Lord Krishna is placed on a high and elaborately rendered pitha, pedestal. Lotus leaf-like shaped octagonal pedestal comprises decorative friezes and lotuses. Lord Krishna is wearing khadayun, wooden slippers, and an exquisitely embellished lower garment. On his waist, he is wearing a broad girdle with beautiful bells frilling around. The drapery is heavily plated and large sash-ends flank most artistically on both sides. A dually stringed garland hung down the knees. He is adorned from toes to head with heavy ornaments gold bangles, bracelets, armlets, brooches, necklaces, anklets and so on. From the crown burst out locks of hair, which on the right side are dressed in a small coiffure.
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.
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