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"The Sensuous and the Sacred: Chola Bronzes from South India"
2003-04-06 until 2003-06-15
Dallas Museum of Art
The Sensuous and the Sacred: Chola Bronzes from South India is an exhibition of approximately 95 sculptures and examples of jewelry from the Chola Dynasty in south India, c. 10th –12th centuries A.D.. Some of the jewelry dates to the 17th and 18th c.. The sculptures are masterpieces of Indian bronze casting and the exhibit includes the DMA Shiva Nataraja (the god Shiva as Lord of the Dance) in its art historical context. There are superb examples of Hindu religious art from both American and European collections.
Chola Bronze sculptures are among the most admired arts of the Indian sub-continent. The works are famed for their subtle modeling and fluent outline of form, as well as for an ideal balance of graceful realism and heroic classicism. The Chola kings and queens built lavish temples in southern India and brought about a new, more emotional kind of religious cult. Representations of deities, particularly Shiva, were seen as acting like earthly monarchs, in daily rituals emphasizing the deity’s protection of his worshippers. These splendid art works were created to use in the new rituals. This exhibition is the first in the United States to survey Chola bronze artistry, drawing works from public and private collections in both the United States and Europe. The exhibition has two thematic sections, one devoted to the worship of Shiva, the other to the worship of Vishnu. DMA'S fine Shiva Nataraja sculpture will be prominently displayed.
Exhibition size: Approximately 95 works, most sculptures, but some jewelry, to illustrate the use of jewelry in the sculptures.
Shiva as Nataraja,
Chola period, ca. 1100, bronze, 35 in. (88.9 cm),
Dallas Museum of Art;
Gift of Mrs. Eugene McDermott, the Hamon Charitable Foundation,
and an anonymous donor in honor of David T. Owsley,
with additional funding from the Cecil and Ida Green Foundation
and the Cecil and Ida Green Acquisition Fund