Serpent Deity (Nagaraja)
100-150
India: Uttar Pradesh, Mathura
On View

Serpents (nagas) are credited with the power to cause rain, bringing forth growth and abundance. Because they shed their skins, they are also considered symbols of regeneration. In Indian art, serpent deities are often represented as humans with snake hoods. The importance of this figure is conveyed by his frontal pose, his monumental size, and the seven-headed snake hood that rises above him like an enormous canopy.

Details

  • Title: Serpent Deity (Nagaraja)
  • Date: 100-150
  • Medium: Sandstone
  • Dimensions: overall: 78-1/4 x 34-5/8 x 13 in. (198.8 x 87.9 x 33 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1972.22.2.S
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

Knoke, Christine, Arts of Asia, p. 60
Knoke, Christine, Minerva, fig. 3 p. 27
Dye III, Joseph M., Asian Art: Selections from the Norton Simon Museum, fig. 1 pp. 20-21
Pal, Pratapaditya, Asian Art at the Norton Simon Museum, Volume 1: Art from the Indian Subcontinent, no. 44 pp. 80-81
Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, cat. 821 p. 342
Lerner, Martin, The Connoisseur, fig. 4 p. 197
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