The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of August 27, 2016

Shiva as Lord of Music, c. 1000

bronze, Overall: 76.50 x 45.00 cm (30 1/16 x 17 11/16 inches); Base: w. 26.00 cm (10 3/16 inches). Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1971.117

After he created the world, Shiva manifested himself in a variety of ways, each of which emphasized a different aspect of his all-encompassing, complex personality. As Lord of Music, he is serene and beneficent. He holds a stringed instrument called the vina, which is missing in this example, but the fingers of his lowered hands are in the position of playing it. His other two attributes in this form are the axe and the rearing antelope, which references knowledge of the Vedic texts, which are the foundational books of the Hindu religion. Music was considered to be an essential component of sacred learning, and its rhythms reflect the structures of the ongoing creation of the universe.

CMA: The Year in Review for 1971, CMA Bulletin LIX, no. 1, (Januarly 1972), p. 26, no. 177.
The Royal Academy of Arts, London (11/11/2006 - 2/25/2007): "Chola: Sacred Bronzes of Southern India", ex. cat. no. 7, p. 68-71.

Detail Views