This 38 inch tall brass piece stands on a raised pedestal, a high podiumlike base, such as a dancing figure like this requires. It consists ofconventionalised lotus motif. The represented figure is apparently a drummerbut her twisted knees giving her legs an outward bend and thrust and hercorrespondingly positioned feet, the widened toes and the close heels, orrather the entire geometry of her figure, correspond to a dance mode. Shehas been, thus, cast as both, dancing and drumming, in simultaneity. She isa superhuman being, a dancing yakshi, or apsara from the realm of gods andnot a denizen of this earth. Beauty is the body of this rendition and theenshrining bhava, the emotional bearing, its presiding spirit and these arewhat render the statue so unique and exceptional.
The emotionally charged figure of the yakshi, endowed with a celestialbhava enshrining in her eyes and upon her face, is holding a mradanga, whichshe is beating with a stick on its left and by her hand on its right. Forgiving it a natural touch, the artist has tagged in its strings a scarf,which the drummers usually have. The instrument is supported on a beautifulchain, which, besides holding the mradanga, also serves as an ornamentaround yakshi's neck. She is dressed in male like shorts down to her kneesbut is putting on it a sash with beautiful holds. Its knot on front ishighly artistic. Her circular well moulded breasts gently rolling frombeneath her ornaments and from down her neck, her round face with an upwardtilt of left cheek, her well-defined neck and her subdued belly are the mostdelightful members of her physiognomy. Sharp features, pointed chin, broadforehead, long fingers, amorous large eyes, a gentle smile floating on herlips and a slim, tall, slender and well proportioned figure define thebeauty of the celestial damsel represented in the statue.
The carved figure delights most by its unique headdress. Her combed hair isarranged in four compartments divided by a lavish gold headdress. Upon thecentral hair parting there is a floral pendant. On her ears she is puttingon karna-phools, an ornament consisting of floral design. Each karna-phoolrises in diminishing floral order and a lace, consisting of small floralbeads, which connects the karna-phools of both ears, divides the skull intwo parts, the back one consisting of a coiffure covered with golden net. Anumber of gold chains and necklaces cover her entire breast and neck. Alarger necklace suspends upon her breasts and imparts to them addedprojection and charm. On her arms she is wearing as attractive armlets andon her wrists as beautiful gold bangles. The statue is superb in both, herornamentation and figure.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializeson the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr Daljeet is the chiefcurator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, NewDelhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art andculture.