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Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Sculpture from Nepal
Sculpture from Kashmir
Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Sculpture from Tibet
Shiva and Parvati (Uma-Maheshvara)
Nepal; Transitional period (880-1200), 10th century
Stone with traces of gold leaf
H. 16 in. (40.6 cm)
Estate of Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller
This stone sculpture represents Shiva, his wife Parvati, and their sons, relaxing in their heavenly home on Mount Kailasa. The rocky ledges carved above and below the central images symbolize the family's mountain abode. With his upper right hand, Shiva lifts a lock of his hair towards the woman flying above his right shoulder, who represents the goddess Ganga. This is a reference to the tale in which Shiva allows the mighty river Ganges, personified by Ganga, to flow from the heavens onto to the earth through his hair to soften the potentially destructive cascade of water. Parvati, Shiva's wife, leans lovingly against his leg; her noticeably smaller size is typical of depictions of this scene. To the left is Nandi, Shiva's bull, ridden by Karttikeya, one of Shiva and Parvati's sons. Their other son, the elephant-headed Ganesha, dances below Parvati, and is accompanied by musicians and other dancers. The remnants of paint and gold leaf on this stele give a good idea of its once glittering appearance.
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