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Shiva as Lord of Music

Shiva as Lord of Music

c. 1000

Bronze

Overall: 76.5 x 45 cm (30 1/8 x 17 11/16 in.); Base: 26 x 25 cm (10 1/4 x 9 13/16 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1971.117

Description

After he created the world, Shiva manifested himself in a variety of ways, each of which emphasized a different aspect of his all-encompassing, complex personality. As Lord of Music, he is serene and beneficent. He holds a stringed instrument called the vina, which is missing in this example, but the fingers of his lowered hands are in the position of playing it. His other two attributes in this form are the axe and the rearing antelope, which references knowledge of the Vedic texts, which are the foundational books of the Hindu religion. Music was considered to be an essential component of sacred learning, and its rhythms reflect the structures of the ongoing creation of the universe.

See also
Collection: 
Indian Art
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture
Medium: 
Bronze

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