Sunday, December 9, 2018

Tribhanga Pose

Tribhanga is a classic stance in Indian sculpture that emphasizes the flowing, sensual line of the figure. 

Like the contrapposto pose of European sculpture, it involves an uneven distribution of weight and a shifting of the axis through the pose.

Tribhanga literally means 'three parts break,' the breaks being in the neck, the waist, and the knee, giving the pose a gentle "S" movement.
Tribhanga on Wikipedia
Recommended books: 


Anita said...

With the pelvis that tilted, shouldn't the shoulders tilt the opposite way? They look straight and even.

Aljosa said...

If anyone is interested in old/classic Indian art, there is a great book available: "The Theory of Citrasutras in Indian Painting" by Isabella Nardi. The book is quite scholarly, but there is some great info inside.

About the book: "This study critically analyses the main concepts embodying the theory of Indian painting as described in the Sanskrit texts, the citrasutras. Being a Sanskrit word meaning ‘treatise on painting’, citrasutra is a compound of two words: citra meaning picture, sketch, delineation, and sutra meaning aphoristic rule. The citrasutras are considered to be an important part of Sanskrit scientific literature that analyse painting within the framework of Indian philosophical thought. The word citrasutra is employed in this study as a general term denoting all the texts and sections of a text dealing with citra. This book explores the content of the citrasutras, examines the different ways in which they have been interpreted and used in the study of Indian painting ..."

Koushik said...

Just to add to the earlier comment, there is a standard and comprehensive work called the "The elements of Hindu iconography" by T. A. Gopinatha Rao. This is standard reading in a study of indian sculpture. The 4 vols of this work are available on (their copyright has expired but they are still reprinted in India). What I find fascinating about the tribhanga is its depiction in massive monumental stone sculptures. It almost mirrors the thoughts of many present day figure artists of getting the "gesture right before adding the details"

James Gurney said...

Thanks, Koushik and Aljoša,
I have added links to the books you recommended at the end of the post.