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Durga (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

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CollectionsArthur Llewellyn Basham
Title: Durga (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
Author(s): Rowland, Benjamin
Photographer: Arthur Llewellyn Basham
Keywords: South India-- Sculpture - South India;stone sculpture;book scan
Series/Report no.: Basham Collection
Description: The goddess is represented standing on the severed bull head of the demon Mahisha, an episode from Puranic legend. She is 8-armed, & holds the bow, discus and trident lent her by Siva and Vishnu for the epic struggle. Her ornaments include a towering head-dress (karana mukhuta), necklaces and jewelled belt
and her arms are covered with bracelets like those of the Dancing Girl from Mohenjodaro. This figure, like all Pallava sculpture, belongs to the earliest and classic phase of Dravidian art. Ultimately it is an outgrowth of the later Andhra style in the elongation of the form with long tubular limbs, but the whole conception is invested with a peculiarly dynamic quality that is always characteristic of Dravidian Hindu art. We can see once more in this single figure the suggestion of the emergence of the form from stone. Certain aspects of the figural canon differ from earlier practice, as may be discerned in the heart-shaped face already noted at Mamallapuram. The figure of the Triumphant Goddess has a militant energy conveyed by the moving pose and deployment of the arms in a kind of aureole. This is combined with a suggestion of complete serenity and feminine softness, as is entirely appropriate to the conception of the divinity.
Other Identifiers: ANUA 682-1756


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