The IUP Journal of English Studies
Mahishasuramardini at Mamallapuram: A Symbol of the Integrative Oikos

Article Details
Pub. Date : Jun, 2019
Product Name : The IUP Journal of English Studies
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJES81906
Author Name : J Frederick Allen
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : English Studies
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 12



Ecocritical tools offer an opportunity to analyze not only literary texts but also other art forms like visual arts, paintings, and sculptures. More than any art form, it is sculpture that has been used most as a propaganda tool. Kings and leaders have erected sculptures of themselves or their ancestors in great numbers. Even greater numbers of sculptures have been carved with a view to propagating religion. Historians today are discovering the hidden messages in sculptures when they examine them with newer tools of analysis. This paper uses ecocritical tools to analyze a sculpture and propounds an oikic interpretation of the sculpture of Mahishasuramardini at Mamallapuram in the state of Tamil Nadu, India.


If one could borrow and transform Pilate’s question sans the jest, one could perhaps ask, “What is sculpture?” The answer probably would be that sculpture refers to the interpretive recreation in a medium, such as stone, of the natural appearance or ideal features of objects, or of ideas in the mind corresponding to these features (Carter 2005, 639). Carter’s definition can scarcely be improved upon, so he commences with description. He states that sculpture is both visual art and tactile art; it is experienced primarily through the visual sense (Carter 2005, 641). Perfect beauty and grace, demanded of sculpture, are a product of an a priori notion of beauty that exists latent in the mind and is activated through the artist’s perception and judgment of the details (Carter 2005, 643).