Varnam | The Nataraja of Netherlands

Apparently, the largest bronze Nataraja from the Chola dynasty does not live in India, but in Netherlands. Recently they x-rayed the statue and found something interesting

Research recently revealed that the Rijksmuseum’s monumental bronze statue of Shiva was cast in solid bronze. The thousand year-old temple statue was X-rayed, along with the lorry transporting it, in the most powerful X-ray tunnel for containers of the Rotterdam customs authority. It is the first research of its kind on a museological masterpiece.

The statue was created ca. 1100 in South India. Each temple had its own set of bronze statues which were carried through the city during major temple festivals. This gives the statues their name: utsavamurti, which is Sanskrit for ‘festival images’. Chola bronzes were considered masterpieces of Indian bronze casting.

Anna Ślączka, curator of South Asian Art, comments, ‘We had expected that the statue itself would prove to be solid, but it was a complete surprise to discover that the aureole and the demon under Shiva’s feet are also solid.’ [Dancing Shiva X-rayed (via Michel Danino]

To see the full image, click on the downward pointing white arrow on the Nataraja on the sidebar.


DISCLAIMER: This is an archived post from the Indian National Interest blogroll. Views expressed are those of the blogger's and do not represent The Takshashila Institution’s view.