Open today 10 am – 5 pm


Object Number:29-64-4
Current Location: Collections Storage
Provenience: India
Date Made: 1st Century - 2nd Century
Early Date: 0
Late Date: 199
Materials:Mathura Sandstone
Red Sandstone
Technique:High Relief
Abhaya Mudra
Inscription Language:Brahmi Script
Height: 49.5 cm
Length: 15.2 cm
Credit Line:Alexander Scott Expedition to India, 1915-1918


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 identical 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 commissioned by a pilgrim to obtain merit, to fulfill a promise made to the god 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.

Current & Past Exhibitions:

Southeast Asian Gallery (1977 - 1987) View Objects in Exhibition


bibs in rowcount
[Book] Horne, Lee C. 1985. Introduction to the Collections of The University Museum.. Philadelphia. The University Museum. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: 55, Figure 2View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Book] Coomaraswamy, Ananda K. 1965. History of Indian and Indonesian Art.. New York. Dover Publications. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: No. 80, plate XXIView Objects related to this Actual Citation

You may also be interested in these objects:

Report problems and issues to digitalmedia@pennmuseum.org.