Detail View: The AMICA Library: Shiva and Parvati (Uma-Maheshvara)

AMICA Library Year: 
Object Type: 
Creator Nationality: 
Asian; Indian Sub-Continent; Nepalese
Creator Name-CRT: 
Shiva and Parvati (Uma-Maheshvara)
Full view
Creation Date: 
Thakuri period, late 10th-early 11th century
Creation Start Date: 
Creation End Date: 
Materials and Techniques: 
Copper alloy
Classification Term: 
Creation Place: 
H. 6 in. (15.2 cm); W. 6 1/4 in. (15.9 cm)
AMICA Contributor: 
Asia Society
Owner Location: 
New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 
Credit Line: 
Asia Society: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Historically, Nepal consisted of a much smaller region than the modern nation, which was formed during the 18th century, encompasses today. It included only the section known as the Kathmandu Valley and a few outlying areas. Nepali art was created by artists of Newari descent working within this limited geographic area, and for this reason exhibits a certain conservatism and consistency. Yet because of Nepal's critical location--linking north and east India with other nations of the Himalayas such as Tibet--there are also mutual influences between Nepali art and that of other styles found throughout the Himalayan region.

Buddhism and Hinduism were both practiced in Nepal, and the same artists made sculptures for both religions. The elegant proportions, relaxed postures, and simple garments and jewelry worn by these figures of the Hindu deities Shiva and Parvati in a small bronze date this sculpture to the late 10th or early 11th century. Such Uma-Maheshvara images were popular in Nepal, and many variants on the theme were produced in bronze and stone. In general, such sculptures are identified by the deities' attributes--for instance, Shiva's trident or mismatched earrings, or Parvati's flower--and the presence of Shiva's bull and Parvati's lion. In the case of this charming bronze, however, the combination of the man and woman and their effectionate postures are enough to identify the divine couple.

Related Document Description: 
Asia Society. Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. New York: Asia Society, [1981], p. 25.
Related Document Description: 
Huntington, Susan L., and John C. Huntington. Leaves from the Bodhi Tree: The Art of Pala India (8th-12th Centuries) and Its International Legacy. Dayton and Seattle: Dayton Art Institute and University of Washington Press, 1990, p. 272.
Related Document Description: 
Kramrisch, Stella. Manifestations of Shiva. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1981, p. 128.
Related Document Description: 
Lee, Sherman E. Asian Art: Selections from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd--Part II. New York: Asia Society, 1975, pp. 42-43.
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