Admired for the sensuous depiction of the figure and the detailed treatment of their clothing and jewelry, Chola-period bronzes were created using the lost wax technique, commonly known by its French name, cire perdue. Because each sculpture made in this fashion requires a separate wax model, each is unique, but because they are religious icons, Chola-period sculptures also conform to well-established iconographic conventions.
The lack of plasticity in the treatment of the body help to date this sculpture of the god Brahma to the 12th century. Despite his theological importance in Hinduism as a symbol of the generation of the cosmos, Brahma is not often represented in the visual arts. He is identifiable by his four faces and the attributes he holds in his hands: a lotus stem in the lower right, a bundle of grass in the upper right, a vase in the upper left, and a book in the lower right. The incised eyebrows and wide, staring eyes found on Brahma's four faces are later recuttings. The eyes are considered one of the most important elements of a Hindu sculpture, serving as a link between the god and the devotee who views it. The chiseling of the eyes, or 'eye-opening' ceremony is one of the last stages in the consecration of an image in a temple and is accompanied by elaborate ceremonies and rituals, including the bathing of images and lustrations of water, milk-rice, molasses, and other liquids. Because the eyes of the sculptures receive the full impact of these poured offerings, they often become abraded over time, and so those on older images were sometimes recarved to preserve the potency and appearance of the deity. The four faces on this sculpture of Brahma show different degrees of recutting. Stylistically, the eyes of this figure compare with those found on works from the 14th through 17th centuries, dating the recarvings to that period.