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The Hindu deity Shiva as destroyer of the three cities of the demons
Place of Origin: Central India
Date: 1000-1100
Materials: Sandstone
Dimensions: H. 24 1/2 in x W. 29 3/4 in x D. 7 1/4 in, H. 62.2 cm x W. 75.6 cm x D. 18.4 cm
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: South Asian Art
Collection: Sculpture
Object Number: B63S6+
On Display: Yes
Location: Gallery 3

Description

Label: Three demons practice such severe self-denial that they earn a favor from the deity Brahma. They ask "that they could not be slain by any creatures, ever." Brahma says that there is no complete immortality and tells them to ask for a different favor. They then ask "that we may establish three cities and wander over this world by your grace. Then, after a thousand years, we will come together and these cities will become one, and the blessed lord, Shiva, will destroy these united cities with a single arrow, and that will be our death."

Shiva is shown at the moment when the three cities unite, shooting the single arrow that will destroy them. In addition to the bow at upper right, in most of his other nine hands he holds a variety of other weapons. His left foot rests on the back of a demon. Behind his other foot can be seen his son the elephant-headed Ganesha. (Quotations adapted from Wendy O'Flaherty's translations in Hindu Myths,1975)

More Information

Exhibition History: "Indian and South-East Asian Stone Sculptures from the Avery Brundage Collection", Pasadena Art Museum 11/22/1969-2/1/1970, The Miami Art Center 2/26/1970-4/15/1970, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts 5/6/1970-6/21/1970, Joslyn Art Museum 7/7/1970-10/15/1970, Lakeview Center for the Arts and Sciences 11/1/1970-12/31/1970.

"The Indian Pantheon: Sculpture of India and Southeast Asia", University Art Museum, Berkeley, 1/27/1979 - 4/1/1979

"Ganesha: The Elephant-Headed God", Philbrook Museum of Art, 4/10/1988 - 5/15/1988

"Ganesha: The Elephant-Headed God", Asian Art Museum, 11/15/1986 - 3/1/1987
Label: Three demons practice such severe self-denial that they earn a favor from the deity Brahma. They ask "that they could not be slain by any creatures, ever." Brahma says that there is no complete immortality and tells them to ask for a different favor. They then ask "that we may establish three cities and wander over this world by your grace. Then, after a thousand years, we will come together and these cities will become one, and the blessed lord, Shiva, will destroy these united cities with a single arrow, and that will be our death."

Shiva is shown at the moment when the three cities unite, shooting the single arrow that will destroy them. In addition to the bow at upper right, in most of his other nine hands he holds a variety of other weapons. His left foot rests on the back of a demon. Behind his other foot can be seen his son the elephant-headed Ganesha. (Quotations adapted from Wendy O'Flaherty's translations in Hindu Myths,1975)
Exhibition History: "Indian and South-East Asian Stone Sculptures from the Avery Brundage Collection", Pasadena Art Museum 11/22/1969-2/1/1970, The Miami Art Center 2/26/1970-4/15/1970, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts 5/6/1970-6/21/1970, Joslyn Art Museum 7/7/1970-10/15/1970, Lakeview Center for the Arts and Sciences 11/1/1970-12/31/1970.

"The Indian Pantheon: Sculpture of India and Southeast Asia", University Art Museum, Berkeley, 1/27/1979 - 4/1/1979

"Ganesha: The Elephant-Headed God", Philbrook Museum of Art, 4/10/1988 - 5/15/1988

"Ganesha: The Elephant-Headed God", Asian Art Museum, 11/15/1986 - 3/1/1987