Manikkavachaka (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

14th-15th century
copper alloy
Tamil Nadu, India
Overall: 29 1/2 × 12 1/4 × 11 1/4 in. (74.93 × 31.12 × 28.58 cm)
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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