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Rossi & Rossi Ltd

Shiva Adhikaranandi
India, Tamil Nadu
12th century, Chola dynasty
copper alloy
24 3/4 in - 62.9 cm

12th century figure of the four-armed Shiva, the destroyer, in a lively attitude on a lotus pedestal. His youthful, vigorous figure is skilfully rendered and emphasised by his short dhoti, the pleated loincloth made from a thin material that defines the contours of his powerful thighs and rounded buttocks. He wears several meditation cords across his chest, a strap around his torso, jewelled necklaces and two different ear ornaments. Shiva’s destructiveness is considered to be both positive and nourishing, eliminating imperfections and impediments and allowing the renewal and regeneration of the spirit. Representations of Shiva Nataraja, Lord of the Dance, are quite common but this much rarer figure shows Shiva Adhikaranandi with a human head rather than the usual bovine head of Nandi, the white bull who is his chief attendant.

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