Plate 36: Dakshinamurti

Image title: Plate 36: Dakshinamurti

Description of the photo

[Full title: Dakshinamurti, Kerala School, Peramangalam, 17th century]

The murals from the Padmanabhapuram [Padmanābhapura] Palace, fresh and well preserved, have a wealth of detail, are of great iconographic interest and are typical of excellent work of the eighteenth century in this part of Kerala. The seated Viṣṇu, Śeṣaśāyī, Mahiṣamardinī Durgā on the cut head of a buffalo, the special favourite mode of representation in the South, Bhairava beside his dog, Harihara, Gaṇeśa and other themes are executed with great skill.

Śiva as Dakṣiṇāmūrti, with yogapaṭṭa on his left foot, seated under the banyan tree, attended by Ṛṣis, is a delightful composition on the wall above the entrance. The offering of huge bunches of plantain, milk porridge and cakes to Gaṇeśa, to the accompaniment of music, with stately lamp stands branching off at the sides, which are peculiar to Malabar, is again most interesting.

Gallery information:

This plate is contained in the book “Vijayanagara Paintings”, a valuable aid to the understanding of Indian iconography (also known as śilpaśāstra). The Vijayanagara empire was established in 1335 by Harihara, Harihara, Kaṃpa and Bukka (sons of Saṅgama) and grew to be a dominant power in the South. Painting has been considered in the Citrasūtra of the Viṣṇudharmottara, the early standard text on painting, as the premier art.

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