Posted on: 22 June 2017

Drawings depicting sculpture from Somnathpur - 1853
Wash drawing by Murugesa Moodaliar

Wash drawing by an Indian draftsman, Murugesa Moodaliar, of two Hoysala sculptures from Karnataka with measurements; signed:' P. Mooroogasa Moodr', dated c.1853.

The Hoysala was a very powerful dynasty that ruled in Karnataka in South India from the 11th to the 14th centuries. These rulers were prolific temples builders and their main centres were Halebid, their capital, Belur and Somnathpur. The characteristic of their style is the profuse and exuberant sculptural ornamentation that covers the temples. The carvings depict Hindu gods and their attendants, beautiful female figures of salabhanjikas, dancers, musicians and rows of animals and scrollwork. These are made of dark steatite, a fine grained stone that can be easily carved. The drawing No.83 depicts a female dancing divinity with an elaborate crown, wearing a jewelled skirt with side tassels and a long loose garland around the hips and ornaments around the arms and wrists. The other drawing (No.84) depicts a female chauri (whisk ) bearer with an elaborate crown and jewelled ornaments and an attendant figure.

Image and text credit:
Copyright The British Library Board


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