King Narasimha

Date

Authors

Photographer: Arthur Llewellyn Basham

Journal Title

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Volume Title

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Abstract

Description

By the 13th century, some regions of India showed a marked decline in their sculptural qualities so that, although compositions became richer, figures and their ornaments became merely pretty images with little dignity. Some of the divine statues were powerful and monumental, but also coarse and dull in this same light. Two panels, carved as if in metal, show something of this growing tendency toward triteness although their subjects are certainly varied and not in the least common. King Narasimha is shown first as an archer, then seated on a fancy swing. Around the king are hordes of admiring companions, apes and dwarfs much like those we have become accustomed to seeing in association with divine statues. Here, however, the secondary companion figures are bothersome additions and space-fillers, and we can see that, if they were removed from the composition, it would be dull, indeed, even if the king's image were interesting in itself. In terms of handling, there is still a good deal of excellence in the work, for the carving is sure if disproportionate with respect to the scale of the figures. -- (left) the king as archer
(right) the king on a swing. Eastern Ganges, 13th Century. Konarek, Orissa.

Keywords

Orissa-- Konarak, stone sculpture, slide set

Citation

Source

Type

Image

Archives Series

Basham Collection

Date created

circa 1970s

Access Statement

License Rights

This item is provided for research purposes. Contact the Australian National University Archives at butlin.archives@anu.edu.au for permission to use.

DOI

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