This exhibition presents, for the first time, the entire stunning collection of Chola bronzes from Asia Society’s Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, along with select bronzes from significant collections in the New York area.
The tradition of cast-bronze sculptures in the Tamil-speaking region of south India became widely prevalent under the imperial rule of the Cholas, who rose to prominence in the late 9th century at Tanjavur (Tanjore) in the delta of the Kaveri River. These sculptures, mainly created from the 9th through the 13th century, are of the highest quality.
Reflecting a new approach to the subject matter, this exhibition considers cast-bronze sculptures in relation to the Hindu tradition of bhakti (devotion), which emphasizes intense and intimate devotion to a personal god. The depiction of itinerant poet-saints among Chola bronzes reflects the importance of these figures in promoting bhakti and the growth of Hindu temples.
Devotion in South India: Chola Bronzes exhibition website