Shiva as Half Man and Half Woman (Ardhanarishvara)

Artist/maker unknown, India

Geography:
Made in Bikaner, Rajasthan, India, Asia

Date:
c. 1725

Medium:
Opaque watercolor with gold on paper

Dimensions:
Sheet: 8 7/8 × 5 5/8 inches (22.5 × 14.3 cm) Mount: 11 3/4 × 8 9/16 inches (29.8 × 21.7 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1994-148-421

Credit Line:
Stella Kramrisch Collection, 1994

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Label:
The god Shiva, shown here in the form of half male and half female Ardhanarishvara, represents the perfect unity of the divine. He appears as the right side of the figure, holding his distinctive hourglass drum. His wife Parvati appears as the left, carrying their son Ganesha (the elephant-headed deity). Shiva’s devoted bull and Parvati’s lion sit nearby. The portrayal of the god and goddess as one being denotes the inseparability of male and female, and signifies the duality of the created world.