Looking At Art
• Nataraja, Shiva as the King of Dance
• Unknown Artist
• South India Chola period (900-13th Century)
• 11th century
• 111.50 x 101.65 cm (43 7/8 x 40 inches)
• Cleveland Museum of Art
• Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund, 1930.331
Shiva as Nataraja, Lord of Dance, at once destroys and re-creates the universe. Based on the rhythmic, graceful postures of classical Indian dance, the supreme deity's cosmic dance signifies the end of each cycle of time, or kalpa. The flames encircling his halo and held in his upper left hand symbolize destruction and the promise of re-creation. In his upper right hand, the drum and its sound represent creation or the beginning of time. His other right hand is posed in the gesture meaning "fear not," and his lower left hand points down toward his raised foot. This gesture represents the illusionistic qualities of worldly existence; the raised foot signifies the final release from the cycles of existence and promises salvation. In his dance, Shiva tramples the dwarf Mashalagan, an action symbolic of his victory over evil and ignorance.
• Menkaure and Khamerernebty
• By an unknown sculptor or workshop group
• Ca. 2520 BCE
• H. 56” (142cm)
• Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
• Fund Howard/ MFA Excavations. No. 11.738
This sculpture is from Egypt.
This work is from a non-western culture because Egypt is belonging to Africa, and Non-Western art flourished in Africa. Also, Non-western culture is a body of ideas and values derived fundamentally from mysticism or subjectivism, as opposed to reason.
United States, England, France, Canada, Australia are considered western countries.
Egypt, India, China, Japan, Korea are considered non-western countries.
I can’t find the name of the individual who sculpted each of these works. As is so often the case in art history, this sort of extrapolation overlooks or ignores the fact that such sculptures were produced only for a very small elite, in this case the Egyptian royal family. However, perhaps beginning with the Egyptians and prevailing through most of history, it has been the case that the tastes of the elite, and the art produced in conformity with that taste, are regarded as representing the most refined and advanced in that culture.
Step #1: complete the original positive
Step #2: make a negative mold
Step #3: make a hollow wax replica
Step #4: engineer for the bronze pour
Step #5: wax is "lost" and bronze is poured
Step #6: cool and finish the casting
Step #7: color the bronze
The Nataraja shiva is usually made in bronze, with Shiva dancing in an aureole of flames, lifting his left leg (and in rare cases, the right leg) and balancing over a demon or dwarf (Apasmara) who symbolizes ignorance. Many religious bronze sculptures were buried. It is a well-known sculptural symbol in India and popularly used as a symbol of Indian culture.
The Menkaure and Khamerernebty are usually made in slate. This is an Old Egyptian statue of the King and Queen made in the Fourth Dynasty. It is very solid because it is still connected into the stone it was carved into. This is to preserve the statue which was believed to be the eternal home of the ka, the other self, which could live on after a person's death. This couple is bound together in the timeless gesture of affection so that their souls will forever be together. To Gilgamesh, it would be some solace in the face of inevitable death that the person he loved like his wife, Enkidu, might still live on, even if only in a statue.
The Nataraja shiva was made in 11 century in India.
The Menkaure and Khamerernebty were made in the Fourth Dynasty in Egypt.
Siva Nataraja, the lord of the dance, consolidates into a single image many meanings of the...
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