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Mahabalipuram: Arjuna's Penance, Detail of lion

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CollectionsArthur Llewellyn Basham
Title: Mahabalipuram: Arjuna's Penance, Detail of lion
Author(s): Photographer: Arthur Llewellyn Basham
Keywords: Pallava-- Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram) - Pallava;architecture;stone sculpture;slide set
Series/Report no.: Basham Collection
Description: Lion motifs in Indian art have had a long history and have been rendered in a stylized manner equally as long. A bold generalization of anatomy in this case is only secondly due to the hardness of the stone and to the sculptor's handling of it, for the lion, a beast uncommon to the sculptor's everyday experience, was never, and likewise is not in this example, treated as organically and naturalistically as the other animals. In this manner, the lion is also preserved as the symbol of royalty, as he is when carved with reference to the Buddha, for instance. Such a treatment endows the lion with dignity, austerity and an unavoidably potent quality of latent energy. Indeed, this lion looks more like a medallion relief than a monumental sculpture, but he is no less spirited or regal.
Other Identifiers: ANUA 682-1798


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