The Standing Parvati originated in the Chola Period circa 880-1025 AD, a time when bronze statues grew increasingly in number to meet the demands of a changing religious and social lifestyle. Alterations within the Hindu religion called for moveable statues that could be carried outside of temples to participate in rituals. The old stone sculptures of Hindu deities were stationary, so artisans turned to the casting of metal as a new approach to creating religious art patronized by the Chola rulers. Chola bronzes were made by utilizing the “lost wax method,” whereby a wax model was initially crafted, a mold formed around it, and a shape cast within the mold. The Standing Parvati, made from copper alloy and standing at 27 3/8 inches, is a typical metal piece from the Chola Period. Her ample body, supple forms and decorative jewels integrate perfectly into a curvilinear statue of femininity. She wears a headpiece, several jewels, and her body boasts large, ample breasts, a small waist, and wide hips, indicative of fertility. In Hindu art, gods and goddesses are frequently depicted with specific characteristics that serve as markers of identification so that the viewer recognizes the subject being depicted. Parvati, the Hindu goddess who is the consort of Shiva and mother of Ganesh, is depicted in a distinctive gesture; her fingers are curved, with her thumb and forefinger touching, indicating that she is holding a flower (Asia Society). She wears a conical crown with three mountain-like tiers, and her body is decorated in large jewels. Parvati mirrors Yakshis found in Buddhist art, female fertility goddesses often times shown kicking a tree to make it bloom, a position better known as the salabhanjika pose. Although Parvati is not shown in such a pose, she stands in a triple bend pose called tribhanga , with a notable thrust of the hip, and left hand locked in a dancerly move (Asia Society). Both Yakshi and Parvati exemplify the Hindu ideal of...
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