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Shiva and his wife Parvati at home in the Himalayas
The Immortal Marriage (Amara Beah)

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Made in Mankot, Himachal Pradesh, India, Asia

c. 1700-1725

Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

Image: 9 × 6 1/8 inches (22.9 × 15.6 cm) Sheet: 11 3/8 × 8 9/16 inches (28.9 × 21.7 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Stella Kramrisch Collection, 1994

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Shiva, who is both a yogi and a family man, holds out his left arm to caress his wife, Parvati. She has fallen asleep with her head in his lap—her posture indicates a release of inhibitions and absolute trust. Two trees arch over the couple, leaning together to increase the sense of intimacy. Flower laden creepers extend toward the holy family to represent their fertility. Shiva’s bundle containing the holy intoxicant bhang (a cannabis preparation) hangs on the branch of a nearby tree. This, together with his ash-whitened body, matted hair, and garland of skulls, is a quiet reminder of his ascetic ways.