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16th Century


Height: 17.5 in (45cm)

Some of the finest bronze cast prabhas or arches for devotional figures come from the state of Kerala. This sculpted bronze Prabha from Kerala has exquisite floral work on it with the finest of details. The net-like floral work is multi-tiered, and at one place there are two open-mouthed 'makaras' or mythical water beasts. The uniformity of the pattern is the most commendable feature of this prabha. It is likely that this splendid arch was crafted for a figure of Lord Rama, which would have been once placed in the centre.

The arch ends behind two seated figures: To the left is Lakshman, bare-bodied, crowned and holding a bow and arrow in his hands. He has a powerful look on his face, and is seated in a regal posture. The beautiful figure to the right is that of Sita, the consort of Rama. She too is crowned, richly bejeweled and holds objects in her hands. Both the figures have been cast in such a manner that the ends of the arch fit perfectly behind each of them.

This artefact with traditional adornments is very graceful, and is an admirable bronze arch from the sixteenth century.

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