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Dancing girl sculpture from Mohenjo Daro, Indus valley civilization, bronze 2300-1750 bce

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Art appreciation is a way of analyzing artwork critically and understanding the society in which that art originated.

The Dancing Girl of Mohenjo-Daro; 2300-1750 BC; bronze; height: 10.8 cm (4​1⁄4 in.); National Museum (New Delhi, India)

The Dancing Girl of Mohenjo-Daro; 2300-1750 BC; bronze; height: 10.8 cm (4​1⁄4 in.); National Museum (New Delhi, India)

  • Looking at the picture, she might look more oversized, but the statue stands 10.5 centimetres (4.1 inches) tall and portrays a nude young woman or girl standing in a confident, naturalistic pose. Dancing Girl is a cultural artefact from the Indus Valley Civilisation and is widely regarded as a work of art. Compared to other more formal poses, this is one of two bronze artworks found at Mohenjo-Daro that shows more flexibility.
  • This exquisite casting, discovered in Mohenjo Daro, portrays a girl. Her long hair is styled in a big bun plaited in the back, resting on her shoulder.
  • With big eyes and a balanced nose, and her head slightly tilted backwards. she is exuberating beauty in its own way. Her arms are unusually long, a common feature of artefacts from this era. Her left hand is provocatively folded in an Indian dancing gesture, while her right arm is resting on her hip.
  • She is dressed in bangles on her left arm, an amulet or bracelet on her right arm, and cowry shell jewellery around her collar. She is otherwise naked. The number of bangles in her hands varies, which is fascinating to note. She has 24 to 25 bangles on her left arm and 4 on her right arm, and she was holding something in her left hand, which was leaning on her thigh; both components are unusually long.
  • The sculpture is expressive and energetic and conveys a lot of detail. Sex, gender, sexuality, and other facets of social identity can all be explored through human figurines. This understanding is crucial today since many ancient civilizations left no written language that could be deciphered. Although the Harappans had a written language, the Indus Script has yet to be interpreted by modern scholars.
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  • This is evidence of the exquisite workmanship of that time.
  • There is no indication that she is dancing, and she may not even portray a female dancer, but because of her pose in the sculpture, she was named the Dancing Girl. The statue was made using the 'Lost Wax' method, where the artist makes a wax model, after which a mould is created from this model.

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