PORTRAIT OF THIRUMALA NAYAKA

66.4

PORTRAIT OF THIRUMALA NAYAKA

66.4

Description

Ivory as a medium of carving has been used since very early times. It was used mainly to fashion utilitarian and decorative objects like jewellery boxes, combs, hilts of swords and daggers. However, portrait figures in ivory are very rare. This portrait of Thirumala Nayaka is unique in this context.
Thirumala Nayaka, acclaimed for his heroism and love of art was one of the important Nayaka rulers of Vijayanagar (1623–1659). Though the empire was declining by this time, the Nayaka rulers left behind an architectural legacy, the most important of which is the holy temple of Madurai, Tamil Nadu.
Here, Thirumala Nayaka stands gracefully on a high pedestal, richly adorned with jewellery, necklaces, large earrings, a broad waistband, bracelets and anklets. The transparent dhoti is probably brocaded, as traces of gold are evident. He has a sharply curved waist, stands with a slightly tilted head, and holds a dagger in his left hand. The ivory was
originally painted red.

Collection

Indian Decorative Art

Object Type

Decorative Art Figurine

Material

Ivory

Schools/Culture/Period

Nayaka

Technique

Ivory carving

Date

17th century CE

Location

Madurai, Tamil Nadu

Dimension

Ht: 26.5 cms