Indian and Himalayan Art
Shiva Playing the LuteMade in Calcutta (present-day Kolkata), West Bengal, India, Asia
Artist/maker unknown, India
Watercolor on paper
Currently not on view
1969-231-8Gift of Stella Kramrisch, 1969
LabelShiva is a Hindu god whose conduct is often outside the norms of society. He is wild, solitary, and nonconformist, considered by many to be the supreme ascetic. As such, Shiva is usually depicted with uncombed hair tied to the top of his head, a tiger skin wrap, rosary beads, and snakes to accentuate his unconventional nature. Devotees of Shiva are more likely to become ascetics because their god serves as an incomparable role model for life at the fringe.