The Metaphorical concept of Indian Sculpture.

By adopting my past article named “The doctrine of Indian sculpture”, here I would like to disclose the inner thought of this great oriental platform of art that includes with metaphorical concepts regarding the human body.  

The author of this scripture suggested to all artists to apply the metaphorical concept in the each part of the human body that come from nature and its elements. I said in my past articles that it was the trend in the artists of that era, discovering the new metaphor to prove their extraordinary talent. Therefore, the author has given some guidelines or suggestion to the artists regarding the application of the metaphor.  According to his suggestions, here I am going to disclose the metaphorical concept gradually for the each part of human body.

Statue of Apsara(Dancer). Resource - www.pinterest.com/pin/475692779371693255/

Face of the human

The author of that oldest scripture defines the actual human face, -  from the middle of the head to chin. He established the form of the human face in two styles. One, it would be round shaped, and next, it would be similar to the betel leaf. He keyed out that the round shape is not just the “round”, rather it would be similar to the egg of the hen, not just similar to any others egg, only hen. He also precepted that such form of the face is suitable for both, men and women.

Another concept of betel leaf is only applicable for the female face. We can see the reflection of such form in the Indo-Mongolian sculptures that followed the precepts of that author and in few places; it also has enforced in the sculpture of Goddess.  

Statue of Devi (Goddess) Resource - http://www.novabeans.com/

The forehead

In the language of the author, “Lalatam Dhanushakaram”. It is in Sanskrit term and the meaning is, the shape of the forehead will be similar to the bow. Here is necessary to analyze his word deeply. We have seen that the middle portion of the bow is straight and the both side is slightly curved. By following to this shape, author indicated that the forehead would be similar to the middle portion of the bow, however, if the partition of the hair is in the middle point of the head, then all hair normally would take the position at the both side of the forehead that looks similar to the bow. The conception of this shape of the forehead is granted for both, men and women.

Eyebrow – 

The metaphor of the eyebrow comes from the leaf of Neem, however, it only applicable for men. In the case of the female eyebrow, it would be similar to the bow. The author also specified that this metaphorical concept of Neem leaf suitable for such men who looks stronger or dangerous. In the sculpture of God or any noble person, the eyebrow would be similar to the bow. It’s a very important element of the human face to create any emotional expression and therefore, author precepted that to use the language of the eyebrow, you have to be serious and sensitive in order to create the specific mood in your sculpture. 

Statue of Apsara(Dancer) Resource - https://www.pinterest.com/pin/126945283220214083/

Eye -

The author described it as a most vital part of the sculpture to press out everything.  He brought some metaphors to press out the language of an eye; such as the shape of fish, lotus, eye of the deer, wagtail bird and precepted to apply in both faces (men and women) by sensing the mood of the figure. The author also pointed out that the upper and lower eyelids are for increasing the beauty of the eye but the eyeball is the element that able to bring out the language of the eye.


Ear -

In this part of the human figure, author has not given importance because, in that era, there were so many popular ornaments used for the ear that mostly covered this part of the body, however, he has given a little guideline, that is, it would be similar to the shape of the vulture.   




In next episode, I'll continue the metaphorical concepts for the other parts of the human figure. So, stay tune with Painter's Blog. Thank you.  





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Last updated on - 07.12.2023