Skip to Content

Home .: Sculpture .: Shiva Nataraja

< Previous

Shiva Nataraja

One of the finest examples of Tamil bronze casting, this magnificent image of Shiva Nataraja was made in the town of Swamimalai in South India ca. 1940. Swamimalai has been a center of expert bronze casting since the times of the Chola kings, about 1000 years ago. This is the same image of the god that resides in the temple of Meenakshi in Madurai and has the special title "Marithandavam".

Lost wax casting is a technique found in many cultures but rarely has achieved the levels of virtuosity of the Chola sculptors. To produce a complex image like this, pouring molten bronze into a mold when seconds of delay can ruin weeks of labor, is an act of near sorcery. After the metal has cooled, the clay and charcoal mold is broken away and the surfaces are refined with files, chisels, abrasives and burnishers.

Bronze images such as this are considered the "movable shakti" or active energy of a god and are paraded through the streets as part of Hindu religious festivals and otherwise are kept on elaborate altars in temples.

height - 41 1/2"

click for enlargement

$0.00 SOLD
Shiva Nataraja Shiva Nataraja Shiva Nataraja Shiva Nataraja Shiva Nataraja