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Sculpture from the Kushan Period
Sculpture from North India, 5th-7th Centuries
Jain sculpture
Sculpture of the Pala Period
Stone Sculpture from Hindu Temples
Sculptures from South India, 8th-9th Centuries
Bronze Sculpture of the Chola Period
Art for the Mughal and Rajput Courts
Hindu Temple Hangings
Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Sculpture from Nepal
Sculpture from the Kushan Period
Two Bodhisattvas from Sri Lanka
Shiva and Parvati (Uma-Maheshvara)
India, Bihar or Bengal; Pala period (c.8th - 12th century), late 10th - 11th century
Copper alloy
H. 5 1/2 in. (14 cm)
Gift from The Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund
In this image, Shiva and his wife Parvati tenderly embrace each other, reminding the devotee that they are the ideals of human, physical love. Sculptures of this theme, commonly called Uma-Maheshvara after two other names of Shiva and Parvati, emphasize the more benign and playful aspects of Shiva as well as his loving relationship with Parvati and with his sons, Ganesha, seated to Parvati's left and Karttikeya, seated to Shiva's right. The predominance of female donors on small bronzes of this theme suggests that it may have held some special significance for woman and may have been a focus of private devotion rather than of temple worship. The bull Nandi, Shiva's vehicle (vahana), sits below his right leg, while Parvati's vehicle, the lion, is below her right leg.
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