One of the finest and the most accomplished examples of metal-casting this lustrous brass cast represents krishna playing on his flute venu'. As if waving with flow of the melody emitting from his pipe his entire body has curved into the form which in the vaishnava iconographic tradition is known as tri-bhang' triple-curved posture.The absorption reflecting from its every part, the entire statue seems to glow with the divine lustre. Under initial concept of krishna's iconography tri-bhang' manifested one of his lalita-rupas' a form revealing beauty; later, krishna's all forms from subduing the venomous serpent kaliya to delighting radha with the melody of his flute, were seen as manifesting one aspect or other of his lilas' divine sports. Ordinarily a mere posture of standing, tri-bhang' too was perceived as one of his lilas' for, besides such aspects as dragging the mind by its beauty or piercing deeper than a straight image, the tri-bhang' manifested also the radha's presence, symbolising the union of the sojourning self with the supreme self : the highest kind of cosmic sport. In vaishnava iconography krishna's tri-bhang' posture has two forms; in one, he stands on the right foot, as in this image, and the left is angularly curved; and in the other, it is just the other way, that is, he stands on the left foot and the right is curved in tri-bhang'. The radha factor is quite significant in determining the two modes.
In routine when radha and krishna are portrayed or cast together krishna is usually in tri-bhang'. His straight-standing images are almost nil.In statues in which he has been cast with radha it is invariably the right leg that is curved for modeling the figure into tri-bhang'. The left is rendered straight aligning with radha's figure.
It is not, however, the uniform rule, at least not so strictly followed in case of isolated sculptures. Sometimes a tri-bhang' posture seems to be used for anatomical balance and balancing the two figures. Conceived with sound aesthetics in this statue the curve in the left leg delightfully aligns with the slanting form of the flute. Such amicability is the essence of tri-bhang' posture.
A triply curved left leg extended towards radha would awkwardly come in between krishna and radha, hence the tri-bhang' being preferred on the right side, not left. Tri-bhang', a lalita-rupa' revealing beauty of form, is sometimes seen as radha's feminine aspect blended in krishna's form. Hence, in an isolated sculpture of krishna tri-bhang' is sometimes seen as symbolically manifesting radha or as alternating the absence of radha's personalized form. Under indian iconographic norms radha's place is on krishna's left; hence, the tri-bhang' meant to symbolise radha essentially manifests on the left.Outstanding in plasticity, modeling and anatomical balance, as also in its artistic merit and worth, this resplendent image of krishna is unparalleled in its iconography, figural grace and ornamentation which is both, lavish as well as elegant. Perfectly cast the statue equals the best of south indian bronzes. A tall slender figure with highly balanced anatomy : round face, sharp features, well defined neck, subdued belly elegantly pleated antariya' lower wear, and every piece of ornament designed with its own distinction : makara-kundalas' ear-ornaments designed like crocodile, towering crown with beautifully conceived back-support, multi-laced necklaces and garlands covering his neck and breast, belly-band with knot-like designed buckle, armlets, bracelets, girdles and decorative frills and laces of beads attached to them, besides the twice used kirtimukha' motifs more characteristic features of south indian iconography, all are attributes of a great masterpiece. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of numerous books on indian art and culture. Daljeet is the curator of the miniature painting gallery, national museum, new delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books.
This item is made of brass statue.