Dancing Celestial India (Uttar Pradesh). Early 12th century. Sandstone. H. 331/2 in. (85.1 cm) Promised Gift of Florence and Herbert Irving (L 1993.88.2) Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC. The contours and richly ornamented surfaces of this celestial attendant to the gods exemplify a stylistic shift away from earlier Gupta-influenced forms. Here the linear play of surface decoration and dramatic contours replace the earlier emphasis on seamless volume and subtle balance. The sculptor has twisted the figure into an extraordinary pose that captures the essence of her dance and seems absolutely believable until one imagines actually trying to turn this way. The jewelry sways and emphasizes her movements, both in the way the necklaces and sashes follow the curves of her body and in the upward thrust of the spiked tips of her crown. The crisp carving of her adornments makes a pleasing contrast with the smooth and rounded surfaces of her flesh. Images of dancing semidivine attendants often appear on the outer walls of Hindu temples. They are placed near the figures of gods to honor the deity, just as actual female dancers honored the gods’ images within the temple.
But in our Indian classical Dance or so to say in other Indian dances there are various pose, Mudras those may seem impossible for west minds? But In many pose/Mudras certain amount of training goes into, before perfecting it. Specially in BharatNatyam, Oddissi dances?
Such are few common pose in or dance and Indian milieu? putting the red crimson red called Sindoor on forehead, that is symbol of Married women? But the way it is executed in dancing movement is something is captured the imagination of many artists. Even dancers also execute this movement with grace. Thus sculptors also put their expertise. Somtimes it is putting eye liner, or putting flower in hair plaits? or decorating head forehead etc. all such movements take shapes in various forms of arts.
Museums have now become multi utility spaces? Museum now hold Talks, Debates, Movies, Documentary screening, Study tours, Walk through History, Researches, Cataloging, Publications, Archaeological important material, Anthropological research, Exhibitions, much more. I think list is still not complete? So vast is the scope of museums now a days in world? As National Museum started a course for students, i am sure other museums must be doing same.
Earlier when museums were thought it was just as an art gallery for exhibiting, preserving few historical things, mostly excavated or collected paintings, sculptures etc.
Only few people used to visit such places, exhibiting Egyptian mummy, animal specimens.
I had visited few: Lucknow Zoo, there was a small structure housing few Egyptian mummy and few of old vintage portraits. Then i saw Salar Jung Museum on my visit to Hyderabad in 1977 when my father took us on LTC. It is one of the largest museums in the world. largest one-man collection of antiques in the world. one cannot completely see and be satisfied by one day visit. One clock was famous there, at hour clock rang bell. A horse parade sort of thing happens in clock, with lot of other mysterious things. So everyone inside the museum kept an eye on their clock so that at the decided time they rush to see the clock.
Another striking Big sculpture i saw in white marble, in front it had a woman and at back side of a man. To show this huge mirrors were kept behind that statue.
I saw Mysore palace also it had a beautifull gallery of paintings of Raja Ravi Verma (Ravan Jatau yudh and Lady with the lamp) and few other artifacts. In Mumbai I saw the Prince of Wales Museum (now it is renamed as chatrapati shivaji museum https://www.csmvs.in ) there i saw a gallery named as museum of natural history? most striking was the King Cobra, i shivered while standing in front of it. It’s hood stood upto few feet above and seemed that it will just strike. So i shifted little bit from its front. Then there was Jehangir Art Gallery on same road, i think? Aquarium of Mumbai was also an attraction.
Actually that day I walked from Gateway of India to masjid bander(?) I don’t know for how long i walked. On the way I saw Prince of Wales Museum, Jehangir Art Gallery, VT Station on my right side. I passed by it, but i could not notice that there is a big railway station inside that building? on the way there was National Gallery of Modern Art? (i thought only one NGMA existed in India, as one is in New Delhi, near India Gate? i did one Art appreciation course at NGMA New Delhi in 1994-95. Then later in life I visited National Museum at New Delhi it is a life time opportunity to see this museum. It houses treasures of our Indian Heritage. I also got chance to visit Bhopal. I took a trip to see the Shiv Temple at Bhojpal? later i visited Indira Gandhi rashtriya manav sangrahalaya इन्दिरा गांधी राष्ट्रीय मानव संग्रहालय . This is an open air museum housing types of houses, other things used by tribal community. spread over a large portion of land, one really needs strength to walk around.. In Bhopal Bharat Bhawan is also there i saw many paintings of renowned painters. Works of Mrinalini MUKHERJI ji. I have had heard names of BB Karanth? Vibha Mishra?
While studying i could know about few other places such as a library at #Rampur Raza library started by Nawabs of Rampur. Famous for music traditions, i heard, it had lots of manuscripts of musical importance. Then there was one Khuda Bux library of Patna?
One of the dream place that i wish to visit is Saraswathi Mahal of Tanjore. it is said to house big treasure and truly named as Saraswati, in name of Goddess of learning. On looking at the treasure in National museum Nwd Delhi I could guess about the treasure, the saraswati mahal could be having. So beautifull Tanjore paintings were there in Delhi.
On Doordarshan, i got to know about Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum. He talked about how he collected many specimens of historical importance, most important was Mastani Mahal, That was built by Pehswa Baji Rao for Mastani ji. Kelkar museum has the portion of that mastani mahal.
I also read somewhere that when Prince Albert had to visit India then in Jaipur a building was named as Albert hall jaipur
following are some of the Gems of Sculpture, Art Architecture etc from India. just scroll down. See and appreciate great Art of India, and largely kept preserved due to Museums, Gallery and pvt collections. Many of such diamonds of our Art had been looted outside of India.
just see this image. Is it really from Kashmir?
its not just beautifull sculpture but it is proof of hard work, high standards of Art, metal art? prevalent in our India centuries ago. During the time of invaders lots of arts, knowledge have been lost. Many arts have become extinct.