1st Century - 2nd Century
This early and rare image shows the Hindu god Shiva standing on an inscribed base in front of a garland-bedecked pillar presenting his phallic emblem (linga). Dressed simply, wearing a crown, earrings, necklace, and bracelets, the figure is virtually indentical in its stance and gestures with images of other deities produced from the same mottled red sandstone during the early centuries CE at Mathura. The god raises his right hand in the gesture of assurance (abhaya mudra) and holds the end of his robe with his left hand. This modest sized image was produced by sculptors who serviced an ever changing community of pilgrims who came to Mathura, then a major religious center for all the great religions of India. A votive icon, this image like many others was commisioned by a pilgrim to obtain merit, to fulfill a promise made to the god, to expiate sin, or to guarantee some material benefit now or in the future. The image has a tenon projecting from it's base that indicates that it was originally part of a larger monument.
Alexander Scott Expedition to India, 1915-1918
[Book] Horne, Lee C. 1985. Introduction to the Collections of The University Museum.
: Page/Fig./Plate: 55, Figure 2
[Book] Coomaraswamy, Ananda K. 1965. History of Indian and Indonesian Art. : Page/Fig./Plate: No. 80, plate XXI
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