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Bronze Iconography2018-12-29T16:01:35+05:30

South India Bronze Art

South Indian Art cannot be mentioned without renowned traditional temple sculptures. It is our best of aesthetic values and beauty with everlasting quality across change of times.

Temples were not just places to keep the idols of deities to worship. They were centre of learning to develop sense of beauty, peace, calm and joy.

Bronze Icons of the temples said to be unique and excel in South India Art. Bronze Iconography represents mudras through hands. Feelings and moods are well expressed through them.

Mudra Representation:

  •  Dhayanamudra: Represents Prayer
  •  Abhayamudra: Represents Blessing
  • Chinmudra: Represents Concentration
  •  Parinayamudra: Represents Wedding

Iconographical Formulae

In Bronze Iconography forms of Deva’s , Devi’s and Humans are measured on the basis unit called ‘Thalam’. The distance from the centre of the chin to upper end of the forehead by extended thumb and middle finger of ones palm is called ‘Thalam’. 1/12th of an Thalam is called ‘Angula’. This is the basic expression of any Indian sculpture.

12 Angula = 1 Thalam



Thalams are of 3 main classes Uthama, Madhyama, Adhama. For every bronze icons of Deva’s & Devi’s specific Thalams should be used.

  •   Uthama Dasathalam = 124 Angulas – For Vishnu, Narashimamurthy, Varaha
  •   Madhyama Dasathalam = 120 Angulas – For Shiva, Rudramurthy, Bahairava, Veerbhaadra, Lakshmi, Saraswathi, Uma, Durga, Parvathi etc.
  •  Adhama Dasathalam = 112 Angulas – For Surya, Chandra, Aswini devas etc.
  •  Panchathalam = 60 Angulas – For Ganesha, Balakrishna etc.

Depiction of Forms

The depictions of form in bronze sculpture are into four classes.

  1.  Samabhangam
  2.  Aabhangam
  3. Thribhangam
  4.  Athibhangam






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