Shiva as Victor of Three Cities (Tripuravijaya)
c. 875
India: Tamil Nadu, Tandantottam
On View

In his iconic form as Shiva the Destroyer of the Three Cities (Tripurantaka), the god is depicted in a heroic stance, with his legs bent in a pose called dvibhanga. Originally, Shiva’s outstretched hands would have held a bow and arrow. According to legend, demons created havoc in three celestial cities. The demons could only be destroyed with a single arrow when the cities converged, which happened rarely. Gods and humans pleaded with Shiva to restore order by destroying the demons. When the cities converged, Shiva shot his arrow, setting all three cities—and the demons—on fire.

Details

  • Title: Shiva as Victor of Three Cities (Tripuravijaya)
  • Date: c. 875
  • Medium: Bronze
  • Dimensions: overall: 30-1/2 x 14-1/2 x - 5/8 in. (77.5 x 36.8 x 14.3 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1972.45.07.S
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

Dehejia, Vidya, The Sensuous and the Sacred: Chola Bronzes from the South of India, fig. 1 p. 110
Srinivasan, P. R., Bronzes of South India, pp. 147-150
Pal, Pratapaditya, Asian Art at the Norton Simon Museum, Volume 1: Art from the Indian Subcontinent, no. 167 pp. 220-221
Khandalawala, K., Lalit Kala, p. 37
Guy, John, Vidya Dehejia, et al, Chola: Sacred Bronzes of Southern India, fig. 15 pp. 27-28
Lerner, Martin, Chhavi-2,
Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, cat. 874 p. 347
Norton Simon Museum Newsletter,
Knoke, Christine, Arts of Asia, p. 67
Dehejia, Vidya, The Thief Who Stole My Heart: The Material Life of Chola Bronzes from South India, c. 855-1280, 1.16 p. 35
Barret, Douglas, Marg, 84-86
Dehejia, Vidya, Asian Art: Selections from the Norton Simon Museum, fig. 6 p. 41
Dehejia, Vidya, The Thief Who Stole My Heart: The Material Life of Chola Bronzes from South India, c. 855-1280, 2.6 p. 57
Dehejia, Vidya, Art of the Imperial Cholas, ill. 26 p. 34
Nagaswami, R., Lalit Kala, p. 36
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