Sunday, June 3, 2012



Case I :

'Veenadhara Siva'. Brahmeswar temple. Bhubaneswar.

 It is interesting when I see a wall-relief or a photo of a sculpture or read an article on galleries of a Museum and suddenly it occurs to me that quite a similar theme has been 'executed' elsewhere! Scholars are doing this exercise regularly - yet when I stumble upon such a finding , I feel quite excited, almost like having accomplished a 'discovery'. I have compiled here a few such cases which are either in my HDD or in my notes - the photos, whenever borrowed  from the internet  as examples, have been acknowledged.

'Veenadhara Siva'. Pratepswar temple.Kalna.

I start with Veenadhara Siva - one his famous 'Dakshina murti' manifestations. Siva faced the south when he taught music,yoga and philosophy - hence is the name for this manifestation . The  wall-relief at the top is from Raja Rani temple (11th century AD), Bhubaneswar. any other  The only 'Dakshina murti' in West Bengal's terra cotta temples I have  noticed  is the one  above from Pratapeswar temple (around 1850AD), Kalna,  The difference in time span is noticeable in this case - 800 years ! 

Case II :
The 2nd case is a puzzle to me. I read somewhere that the posture of reclining Vishnu of  Deogarh, UP has a similarity to that of Endymion . I searched for both and - Yes! , the similarity is evident. The  right legs in both the sculptures are bent almost identically and  the left ones are straight or nearly so.In a way, right hands of Vishnu and Endymion  have similarity too !

 This Reclining Endymion is from Gustav III  Museum of Stockholm. 
It must be quite a favourite of the authorities & public since it appeared on the face of a stamp of Sweden. 
Reportedly, this is a 2nd century AD Roman copy of a Greek statue . "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever..' is opening line of Keats' poem 'Endymion'.
( Source - Internet)

'Anantesayane Vishnu'. Degarh,UP.6th century AD.
(Source -  Internet)

 I have no idea as to  how the posture of a Greek sculpture could influence that in Deogarh temple, which are 3-5 centuries and thousands of miles apart. If anyone can throw some light on it , I shall welcome the same.

Case III :

 Vishnu-Krsna - Hazara-Rama temple,Hampi. 
 Closer home, I would like draw comparison between  creative ideas between wall-reliefs at Hazara-Rama temple, Hampi.   and several terra cotta/lime-plaster temples in Bengal. At Hazara-Rama temple (15th century AD) ,we find the concept of combining Vishnu with Krsna. Two hands of deity hold  conch-shell and discuss ('chakra') and other two hands hold a flute. In the terra cotta temples of Bengal (17th-18th centuries AD) , the concept is of combining Krsna  with Rama and ChaitanyaDev. Deity carries bow,arrow,flute,water-pot ('kamandolu') . Here, the deity has six hands !

Krsna-Rama-ChaitanyaDev  - RadheShyam temple,Bishnupur.
Note -  This is plaster work on red laterite stone.There are terra cotta adaptations in several temples.

 Composites and grotesque  in our temples offer other areas of having such comparisons.  Conversely, when one starts comparing one visual with another with identical theme, marked dissimilarities can also be a point  to note with interest. More such photos and discussions to follow.

1 comment:

siddeshwar said...

Hello Sir,

These are interesting observations especially case II, the posture is strikingly similar.