Saturday, January 31, 2015

woman sitting on panther

Artist: DANNECKER Heinrich

There is a popular belief that Britishers and other Europeans who came to India in the British Raj era found the images of Indian Gods and Goddesses horrifying and irrational!
How could a female ride a lion, they wondered taking Indian art as unreal. But a similar combination of a female with a feline has long been a part of Greek myth and art. And this is self-explanatory that thought patterns are repeated among individuals and even cultures irrespective of temporal and spatial differences. The purpose varies but the feelings remain same.
This masterpiece of Dannecker, “Ariadne on the Panther” (1812-14) is considered by some to be a modern classic, and is perhaps one of the best-known German sculptures of the 19th century. Dannecker follows none of the mythological precedents in his representation. He shows Ariadne riding, lying in divine nakedness on one of Dionysius' panthers. Overall, the pose creates a contour of extended repose, embracing the whole sculpture.
Ariadne was one of the many children of King Minos 2 of Crete. During her time, the naval power of her father decayed, and she contributed to it by providing aid to Theseus, prince of Athens. And it is when Theseus came to Crete that Ariadne came into the story. Eventually Theseus left her sleeping as he feared shame and the reproaches of the Athenians.
As an early Minoan Goddess her myth was centered around the joyous and sorrowful aspects of marriage and death.

Raman Bhardwaj

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