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The Hindu deity Shiva
Place of Origin: India, Tamil Nadu state
Date: approx. 1300-1500
Materials: Bronze
Dimensions: H. 37 1/2 in x W. 11 3/4 in x D. 10 in, H. 95.2 cm x W. 29.8 cm x D. 25.4 cm
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: South Asian Art
Collection: Sculpture
Object Number: B69S14
On Display: Yes
Location: Gallery 4

Description

Label: The Hindu deity Shiva is usually represented with four or more arms and has a vertical third eye in his forehead. Here, however, he is identified only by his ascetic's tied-up dreadlocks, with a tiny crescent moon and river goddess Ganga on either side. Similar figures of earlier centuries would have had somewhat more naturalistic proportions and treatment of details. Here, though, the sculptor has chosen to exaggerate the broadness of the shoulders and the narrowness of waist, and to treat lines such as the jeweled chain on the lower right leg and the sacred thread across the chest in a hyperelegant manner. The lotus pedestal is placed on top of a square base with two holes for attaching it to a frame for carrying during ceremonial processions. For such a procession, the image would have been decked with elaborate textiles, jewelry, and flowers.

More Information

Exhibition History: "India!", The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 9/9/1985 - 1/5/1986

"Gorgeous", Asian Art Museum, 6/20/2014 - 9/14/2014
Label: The Hindu deity Shiva is usually represented with four or more arms and has a vertical third eye in his forehead. Here, however, he is identified only by his ascetic's tied-up dreadlocks, with a tiny crescent moon and river goddess Ganga on either side. Similar figures of earlier centuries would have had somewhat more naturalistic proportions and treatment of details. Here, though, the sculptor has chosen to exaggerate the broadness of the shoulders and the narrowness of waist, and to treat lines such as the jeweled chain on the lower right leg and the sacred thread across the chest in a hyperelegant manner. The lotus pedestal is placed on top of a square base with two holes for attaching it to a frame for carrying during ceremonial processions. For such a procession, the image would have been decked with elaborate textiles, jewelry, and flowers.
Exhibition History: "India!", The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 9/9/1985 - 1/5/1986

"Gorgeous", Asian Art Museum, 6/20/2014 - 9/14/2014