Shiva the Bull-Rider (Vrishabhavana)
c. 1000
Asia: India, Tamil Nadu
On View

The majestic Shiva (right) stands in a relaxed posture and would have leaned upon the head of his bull, known as Nandi or Vrisha, which is now missing. The god's recognizable attributes include his elaborate hairstyle, in which his long matted hair is piled up on top of his head to form a crown, his elaborate jewelry, and his armbands. His wife and companion, Parvati (F.1982.2.2.S), is the embodiment of feminine beauty and grace.


  • Title: Shiva the Bull-Rider (Vrishabhavana)
  • Date: c. 1000
  • Medium: Bronze
  • Dimensions: 39-1/2 x 13-1/2 x 10-1/2 in. (100.3 x 34.3 x 26.7 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1972.24.S
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

  • Pal, Pratapaditya, Marg, fig. 5 pp. 58-59
  • Knoke, Christine, Minerva, fig. 13 p. 29
  • Dehejia, Vidya, Asian Art: Selections from the Norton Simon Museum, fig. 10 p. 43
  • Pal, Pratapaditya, American Collectors of Asian Art, 1986, fig. 5 pp. 122-123
  • Dehejia, Vidya, Art of the Imperial Cholas, 1990, ill. 51 p. 66-68
  • Pal, Pratapaditya, Asian Art at the Norton Simon Museum, Volume 1: Art from the Indian Subcontinent, 2003, no. 172a pp. 240-241
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 824 p. 342
  • Dr. Pratapaditya Pal, In Pursuit of the Past: Collecting Old Art in Modern India circa 1900-1950, 2015, 8.17 pp. 131-133
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