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Lecture on Chola Bronzes and Metal Technology.

January 22, 2018

The Southern Regional Centre of ICHR organizes a Lecture on Chola Bronzes and Metal Technology under the Lecture Series Programme by
by Prof. Sharada Srinivasan,
Dean & Professor, School of Humanities,
National Institute of Advanced Studies , Bengaluru.

South Indian copper alloy statuary icons represent one of the great artistic traditions of the Indian subcontinent spanning eras such as the Pallava, Chola and Vijayanagara eras and spreading across Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Popularly known as pancha-loha or five-metalled icons, studies on sastraic prescriptions on the one hand and metal technology and composition by the author reveal interesting aspects of comparison and contrast between ritual prescriptions and actual practice. Since south Indian bronzes were often not inscribed, it is often difficult on visual and art historical criteria alone to tell apart bronzes of different stylistic genres. This talk highlights the usefulness of archaeometallurgical investigations and finger-printing techniques such as lead isotope analysis in aiding the art historical classification of South Indian bronzes undertaken by the author. Continuing traditions of the making of utsava murtis or processional icons at Swamimalai in Thanjavur district are explored as well as the probable sources of metal in the light of archaeometallurgical studies. Trends and continuing metalworking traditions in the use of bronze, high-tin bronze and brass are also touched upon. Taken in conjunction with some dated artefacts and inscribed images, the implications of such studies in exploring making stylistic attributions for Hindu, Buddhist and Jaina images of different periods is explored. The studies of iconometric conventions in the modeling of icons, seen in conjunction with archaeometallurgical finger-printing also throw interesting light on the iconographic development images of key images such as of Kali, dancing Siva images of Natesa and Nataraja from the Pallava and Chola periods, and of Ramayana bronzes from the Chola to the Vijayanagara period.

The programme will be presided over by Professor M.J Kamalakshi, President Karnataka Lalitha Kala Academy, Bengaluru

Lecture on Wednesday | 24th January 2018 | 5.00 PM

Indian Council of Historical Research,
Southern Regional Centre,
Law College Premises,
1 Palace Road,
(Mysore Bank Circle)
Bengaluru 560 009.

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