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Nandi

10th-11th century

India, Tamil Nadu

Copper alloy

H. 20 1/4 x W. 20 1/2 x D. 13 1/4 in. (51.4 x 52.1 x 33.6 cm)

Asia Society, New York: Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, 1979.30


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Each principal deity of the Hindu religion is associated with an animal which serves as its mount and symbol (vahana). Images of the sacred bull Nandi, Shiva's mount, are generally housed in a hall facing the sanctum of a temple dedicated to Shiva. In this representation, Nandi, adorned with garlands and bells, engagingly licks his muzzle. His alert expression and air of composure imbue him with a distinct quality of spiritual awareness. (Comment sheet contains a differing opinion regarding location; separate comment sheet gives further descriptive details)