Shiva (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

9th century
red sandstone with traces of pigment
Southern Uttar Pradesh or Northwest Madhya Pradesh, India
Overall: 37 × 15 1/4 × 8 in. (93.98 × 38.74 × 20.32 cm)
This sculpture and the Bhairava to the left are probably from the exterior of the same temple. They show the Hindu god Shiva in two very different manifestations. Here he is serene, with a benevolent smile on his full lips. His matted locks are tied in up in the style of an ascetic, and his third eye appears in the middle of his forehead. A jeweled garland wreathes his body. In his upper left hand he holds a coiled serpent; his lower left hand rests on his leg. Both his lower right hand and entire upper right arm are now missing. He is attended by a female fly-whisk-bearer and a gana, one of his gnome-like followers.
Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, Gift of Paul Mellon
Dye, Joseph M. The Arts of India: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. London: Philipp Wilson, 2001. (cat. no. 37, pp. 138-139)
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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