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Parvati

11th century

India, Tamil Nadu

Copper alloy

H. 31 3/4 x W. 12 x D. 12 in. (80.6 x 30.48 x 30.48 cm)

Asia Society, New York: Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, 1979.21


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Parvati, the daughter of the Himalayan Mountains, is worshiped both as Shiva's wife and as an independent deity. She is identified by her conical crown with its mountainlike tiers and by the distinctive "flower-holding" gesture of her right hand. A statue of Parvati is an integral part of the imagery of Shiva as Lord of the Dance. In a temple, this large bronze would have been placed near an image of Shiva, similar to those in the Asia Society Collection. This piece is probably from the same hoard as the Somaskanda, the Sambandha, and the Mannikkavachaka. The rich sculptural relief of this particularly beautiful image, especially the sharply protruding drapery-end at the small of the back, points to an earlier date than that of the above-mentioned pieces.