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Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Dancing Shiva

ca. 950-1000

The iconography of the Hindu god Shiva is particularly varied. Here, he appears in simultaneously human and fantastic form with four arms. A member of the divine triad with Brahma and Vishnu, respectively the creator and protector of the universe, Shiva is the agent of the universe’s periodic destruction. An ambivalent god, he watches over the pious and destroys the world at the end of the cosmic cycle, crushing ignorance and guiding the universe towards liberation. Regarded as an ascetic and associated with the world of nature, he also is a husband and father par excellence. Among his many forms, one of the best known is as Nataraja, Lord of the Dance, as he is depicted here.

Artwork Details

Title: Dancing Shiva
Geography: Tamil Nadu, Southern India
Date: ca. 950-1000

Medium: bronze

Classification: sculpture
Dimensions: 83 x 47.5 x 24.5 cm
Inventory number: LAD 2009.023
Contact for images : [email protected]
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