Monkey General Hanuman

Monkey General Hanuman

c. 1000

South India, Chola period

(900-13th Century)

Bronze

Overall: 58.4 cm (23 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1980.26

Description

Hanuman is one of the most popular heroic figures of the epic Ramayana. In the story, he was indispensable in the search for the abducted wife of Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu. He is able to fly through the air and lift mountains, but here he is shown as a humble servant of the god. His gestures signify his humility and he bows slightly in reverence to his master.

Bronzes during the Chola period spanning the 800s to 1200s were solid cast, using the lost-wax method. Each one is unique and would have been kept in the treasury of the temple until the festival day when the presence of the deity is invited to reside in the sculpture, which is then bathed, dressed, and paraded through the streets. This figure would have been paraded with a group of other images depicting Rama, his wife, and his brother.

See also
Collection: 
Indian Art
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture
Medium: 
Bronze

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