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Shiva as Lord of Dance and Music, 11th century

India: Orissa, 1000-1099
Sandstone
45 x 17 x 10 in. (114.3 x 43.2 x 25.4 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
F.1975.17.49.S
© 2012 The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

Carved in deep relief, the figure of Shiva is depicted dancing on a pyramid of five heads with sunken eyes placed upon a lotus base. Five heads or skulls play an important role in esoteric tantric practices. While representations of Shiva as the cosmic dancer are common, this extraordinary sculpture is unique for both its iconography and style.


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