The maiden, represented in this statue, has been modeled on the line onwhich Khajuraho sculptor, working at its Parasanath temple, modeled hisSrangar-rata nayika holding a mirror in her left hand and applying vermilionwith the other. The Khajuraho maiden is possessed of the celestial charm andthe transcendental beauty, as are the mythical denizens of the Indraloka.The represented figure is hence known as apsara, a superhuman maid. Thisbrass statue, due to the greater plasticity of its medium and being asubsequent work, with other models and ideals of beauty in perception, marksa subtle improvement over its stone counterpart. It blends, in its modeling,the grace and plasticity of the worldwide known Gyaraspur Yakshi as well.Khajuraho apsara is broadly a relief, which has limited scope to depict thebeauty of figure's back. This statue has greater perspective to feed theviewing eye. In its total impact, the figure of the damsel, represented bythis brass piece, is endowed with greater mystic charm, mythical beauty anddivine grace, such as are not the attributes of this world.
As a matter of fact, it is the unique treatment of beauty and grace and thegreat artistic skill that the figures carved in Khajuraho stones, or evenhere in this metal piece, appear to be the inhabitants of a world beyond theworld of man. But, in reality, the artists, working on them, had in theirminds only the human figures as well as human aesthetics as perceived byancient masters. They identified the Indian maid, the nayika, not only inher various characters but also in her various roles and wove around suchclassifications their aesthetics. Each nayika type had its own demeanour aswell as the specific attributes of physique, that is, the body aestheticsand the body language. This statue depicts one of the steps ofsolah-srangar, that is, the sixteen steps of dressing and adorning a maid.In Indian tradition, it is essential for a married woman to have vermilionmark above her forehead on the hair-parting. She is wearing variousornaments as these aesthetics prescribe for a married damsel. Each ornament,carved of the ordinary brass, is a real jewel by any parameter. In apleasant gesture, the damsel is holding a mirror in her left hand and isapplying vermilion with the right. This gesture curves her figurecorrespondingly, the left hip protruding and the right recessing. Her leanbelly also tilts to right and the fascinatingly moulded breasts make theforward thrust. The face tilted slightly to her left, diagonally angledarms, right leg's backward thrust and the geometry of the entire figurecreate its own music and produce its own rhythm, which a sensitive earlistens and eye perceives.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture.