Cholas Sculpture

  • The Cholas who succeeded the Pallavas and ruled over South India from the 9th to 13th centuries A.D. created the great temples at Tanjavur, Gangai Kondo Cholapuram, Darasurama, which are a veritable treasure house of their art.
  • At the Brihadisvara temple at Tanjavur which is the most mature and majestic of the Chola temples, sculpture, there has attained a new maturity which is evident in the gracefully modeled contours of the figures, their flexed poses, delicate ornamentation, pleasing faces and certain freshness, all of which add charm to the work. Chola art not only influenced the art of Ceylon, but it travelled as far away as Java and Sumatra
  • A good example of Chola craftsmanship in the 11th century is the relief carving of Siva as The irate god is engaged in a vigorous dance of fierce ecstasy after having killed the elephant demon, who has given so much trouble to the rishis and his devotees..
  • The later phase of Chola art, in the 13th century, is illustrated by the sculpture showing Bhudevi or the earth goddess as the younger consort of Vishnu. She stands in a gracefully flexed attitude on a lotus base holding a lily in her right hand, while the left arm hangs along her side in
  • Bronze sculpture tradition under the Cholas
    1. The art reached a high stage of development during this time
    2. The sculptors work during this time are famous for their elegance, sensitive modeling, and balanced tension
    3. Realism and attention to finer details reached its utmost perfection during this time. Ex: Clear demarcation of the areas of the body, such as the creases between the torso and the stomach, around the navel, sharp edges along the tibiae, a pointed nose, facial expressions are one of the most noticeable features of this time (Nataraja image)

Sculpture of dancing Nataraja, Chola period