figure (ritual & belief: representations)

Figure of Sivanataraja made from copper alloy depicting Shiva as Lord of the Dance, dancing within a semi-relief flame surround of near vertical posts supporting an arch of flame with a kirtimukha ('face of glory') head at the top. The left leg is standing on a figure with a human body but crouched in an animal pose and with a crested head. The Shiva image has ten arms, which is unusual, as is the fact that the right leg, which rests on the head of a python and points to the ring of fire, is pointing to the left rather than to the right. The upper left hand holds a deer and the upper right an axe, standard attributes of all Shiva images in Tamil Nadu, which suggests this area as the origin of the piece. The hair is piled atop the head, elaborate ear ornaments reach down to the shoulders. The shoulders are covered with a loose sleeve and there is a necklace. The loincloth ends half way down the thighs. There are four holes in the base, probably for fixing to a support, and a horizontal bar projecting from the back of the head as if it once rested against a support at the rear.

Collection Information

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