Value of a signature
  • With the advent of laptops, Internet and Iphones - rarely we get an occasion to sign with our hand. This is the age of digital signature, biometric identity. We rarely understand the significance of Signature.
    Signature wasn't even a topic worth thinking till I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York city.

    One my close friends school mate Sriram was walking with me. We visited the Chola Bronze section. Chola Bronze was introduced to me by Mr.Vijaykumar of Poetry in stone blog. It would be apt if I say Mr.Vijaykumar has been a friend, philosopher, guide with regards to my blog.
    When I first entered the Chola Bronze block , I was really excited. The thought of possessing some knowledge about a piece in Museum and a chance to explain it to a person next to you was really an amazing feeling. I explained the bronze figure of Thirugyanasambandar and his raised finger to my friend(of course from Poetry in Stone). And for the first time saw precision of the Chola bronzes. They had every detail in it the ring , metti, crown,saree/dhoti designs,finger nails. I got a chance to inspect each of the bronze which was not caged. I could examine them as close I wanted and I realised this is the closest ever I can go near a Chola Bronze.
    In another section as show piece, they had Chola Bronze of Hanuman. His hands having a mudra. The lighting effect there made the shadow of the mudra look like a deer. It was really a sight to watch.

    Then we walked to other sections and while discussing with Sriram, I realised something. I told him something like this " If only the Chola bronze/stone artist got a chance to sign his name below his creations- there would be many universities now researching about the artist's work; world would have celebrated a great artist as they are doing with the likes of Leonardo da Vinci. He didn't have freedom to sign his name,hence we attribute these art to one dynasty. Just because he couldn't sign , he is lost....."
    Now I understand the value of a signature.
  • Dear Vairam

    Chola Bronze - Hanuman

    can you pl give the image if possible

    what is be the period?
  • Excellent mail dear Vairam Palaniappan.

    You have communicated two things ::

    One - rightfully deserving appreciation to Vijay - for his blog POETRY IN STONE - which is a Super Hit among Heitage conservationists.

    Your Karka.Nirka blog is another Super Hit among Literature - particularly those who love Sangam Literature very much .

    Two - Signature of the Creator !! and you compared Great Artists like da Vinci.

    " .. If only the Chola bronze/stone artist got a chance to sign his name below his creations- there would be many universities now researching about the artist's work; world would have celebrated a great artist as they are doing with the likes of Leonardo da Vinci... "

    GOT a Chance .. !!

    I am sure such Artist would have GOT A CHANCE..

    Especially when even smaller grants were scribed, I am sure these names would have been permitted.

    Like we know of Thennavan Moovenda Velalan who created the Bronzes..

    Then they are NOT BRONZES.. They are GODLY IMAGES.. put in worship.

    And an Artist's name in an object of WORSHIP ...

    He himself would have deferred that idea.. that should have been a practice from the time such Creators got opportunities of Godly images.

    WE have seen some inscriptions of such Creators in the outer mantap pillars etc.

    When So many Thalichery pendir's name figured in the big temple, i am sure so many names of the Creators also should have figured some where... if not in all the temples, atleast in the big temple.

    we have lost several inscriptions.. may be we will recover some of these names too some day.

    But your thought is mind awakening.. and thanks for sharing.

    warm regards. sps
  • Thats a very interesting and good observation. BTW in Mahabs in the Iyindhu
    Radham we do have one of the artists writing out his name,(pointed out to me by
    the guide. Is that true? Can any one throw some light on this. May be the Kings
    who built the temple did not want the artist to inscribe their name anywhere?
  • Very interesting observations. Being in 21st century and having received
    western education (all of us), it is pretty difficult to understand the
    way the artists "owned" at their creations.

    My understanding is that including the artist's signature in the created
    art - thereby announcing to others the creator's name - is a western
    tradition. Our folks did not think about their art that way. You see
    the same tradition in the poetry and books written in ancient times.
    Most of the authors names we have are "descriptive-names" rather than
    their actual name. If this sounds like a reasonable hypothesis, can we
    unearth the philosophical arguments that was prevalent in those times?
    Thanks. Raj Mutharasan
  • Would you not take " / perunthachchan/ " as a karanapeyar, meaning a
    descriptor-name? In other words, we do not quite know his real name.

    The name "Lalithaalaya " sounds like a personal name. But is not
    inscribed near the art itself? His name appears in another written work.

    I would be interested to know if any of pre-13th century art had
    sculptor's name on the art itself.

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