Page:Picturesque Nepal.djvu/252

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156
THE ARTS OF THE NEWARS

on which was built the better-known banner-painting of the Tibetan monasteries. But it was in the plastic arts, especially in their manipulation of metals, that the Newar craftsmen excelled, and it is this aspect of the æsthetic that gave Nepal in the old days its artistic reputation. The sculptured portraits of its nobles, the life-size statues of its kings, the dignified bas-reliefs of its saints, and the noble conceptions of its gods, executed in hammered brass or cast copper, show, besides a profound knowledge of artistic principles, an earnestness of purpose, and intensity of feeling, which must impress all who see this work at its best. A study of the Newar's handiwork in this direction will reveal an acquaintance with the best traditions of his subject; and an attainment of a superior plane of art work, which give the productions of this comparatively small country a more than ordinary interest.

To properly appreciate the art of the Newar metal-worker, one must see a statue in copper-gilt of a Newar king on his high stone colunm, surrounded sometimes by a group of smaller