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In addition to images of deities, South Indian sculptors also created depictions of important Hindu saints-men and women whose exemplary lives and compelling teachings inspired devotees. The subject of this sublime imageis Manikkavachaka, a singer-saint whose rhapsodic devotional hymns proclaim his deep love for the god Shiva. He raises his right hand in a teaching gesture, and in his left he holds a manuscript (presumably of his hymns) that is inscribed "Namashivaya" or "Hail to Shiva."
Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund
Dye, Joseph M. The Arts of India: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. London: Philipp Wilson, 2001. (cat. no. 59, pp. 168-170, 486)
Gordon Johnson, ed., The New Cambridge History of India: Architecture and Art of Southern India (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995) pp. 201-204, no. 148, ill.
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC
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