Mahishasuramardhini (GJ)

Mardhini GJThis is Mahishasura Mardhni, the slayer of the demon Mahisha. Mardhini is a form of Durga.

Here she is holding a sword, arrow, chakra (discuss), Trishul, conch shell (shankha), bow, shield and Mahisha’s hair in her hands (starting from the lower right hand clockwise). The attributes were given by various gods to help her in vanquishing Mahisha. For more details please check another blog on Mardhini.

Mardhini GJ BackAmong the notable aspects are the diminutive size of Mahisha, lion attacking the buffalo’s hind, the flames surrounding the crown (compare it to the flames of Bhairava) and the severed head of buffalo lying on the pedestal.

The drama of Mardhini getting ready to plunge the Trishul while at the same time pulling Mahisha out of the buffalo’s body is riveting.

This bronze is of Ganga Jamuna (GJ) type, in which copper-rich bronze is overlaid with brass. The art of making Ganga-Jamuna bronzes seems to have thrived for a very short time around the eighteenth century and the quality of recent GJ bronzes is yet to reach that level of finesse.

Ganga Jamuna bronzes are mainly from the North Deccan region and most of them date to the eighteenth century.  This bronze is about 11.5 cm in height.

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