TERRACOTTA TEMPLES OF BENGAL-II

Discover the beauty of terracotta panels - journey to the land of Terracotta temples (contd.)

When Amit Guha ,my friend from London wrote to me a few days ago enquiring about what I am doing with all the photographs I brought from my Hooghly and Bishnupur visits , I thought of returnibg to HUBPAGES with a few photographs.While I have done a lot of work with these photographs and my 'Project' on terracotta temples,I have published nothing since 16/12/07 !

 

Terracotta panels on these temples are not exactly outdoor sculpture. Nor these are murals.Perhaps ,a bit of both. Appreciation of artwork of these panels will require understanding of:

  • Religious belief of the region and period of construction.
  • Knowledge of literature of the period of construction.
  • Society of the region.

The collection of the photos I have in my computer now offers me an opportunity to prepare Powerpoint presentations/compilations to demonstrate the beauty of artwork and iconography , combining all the three aspects mentioned above.A definition of Iconography , borrowed from wikipedia is here :

 

Iconography deals with studies involving identification, description, and the interpretation of the content of images. The word iconography literally means "image writing", or painting, and comes from the Greek εικον (image) and γραφειν (to write).

As I edit the photos ,I find that the panels depict an icon in a pose or narrate a story.There are several points to note :

  • Symbolism is very important.Krisna and Balarama are identifiable by the contents of their hands.
  • Characters in great dynanic postures.War scenes will show participants charging and trampling victims.
  • Many panels do not emphasise on facial expressions.
  • But, a closer study of body language reveals important points.

I have picked up a few photos from the ones I have in my HDD for my friends.Please let me have your comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appreciation of terracotta work on Bengal temples

Scene before Krisna and Balarama leave for Mathura.Gopi (extreme left) entreats Krisna to stay back.On his right ,stands Balarama... he is identifiable by the 'hala',the plough he carries.
Scene before Krisna and Balarama leave for Mathura.Gopi (extreme left) entreats Krisna to stay back.On his right ,stands Balarama... he is identifiable by the 'hala',the plough he carries.
Watch the articles in the hands of this manifestation of Lord Bishnu as Rama ( bow & arrow), Krisna (flute) and Chaitanya (Stick and the 'bhanda' or bowl)
Watch the articles in the hands of this manifestation of Lord Bishnu as Rama ( bow & arrow), Krisna (flute) and Chaitanya (Stick and the 'bhanda' or bowl)
A winged horse ( 'Uchchaisraba' ... the horse Lord Indra rides?) tramples a congregation of elephants. Watch the ruthlessness of the horse and the elephants scattering .
A winged horse ( 'Uchchaisraba' ... the horse Lord Indra rides?) tramples a congregation of elephants. Watch the ruthlessness of the horse and the elephants scattering .
Mother and child .The artist of this panel has created some more panels in this Radha-Mohanjiu's temple of Antpur whose features are the artist's trademark. Faces are without emotion.But, the posture brings out the intimacy
Mother and child .The artist of this panel has created some more panels in this Radha-Mohanjiu's temple of Antpur whose features are the artist's trademark. Faces are without emotion.But, the posture brings out the intimacy

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Comments 3 comments

Meghanada 5 years ago

FYI, the winged "horse" is actually a Sharabha, a mythical creature that preyed on elephants. It was sometimes represented as a winged lion with an elephant's trunk and no mane, as is the case here.


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shyamchat 8 years ago from Calcutta Author

Thanks.

This temple is better preserved than many others.

The deposition during monsoon is very high in a section of this temple.


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funride 8 years ago from Portugal

I love the mother and child panel. It´s sad that some of them are so poorly conserved but thanks to you we can see them and show them to future generations.

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