The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 4, 2024

Standing Shiva Mahadeva

Standing Shiva Mahadeva



This early iconic form of Shiva as the Great God, or mahadeva, embodies his contradictory aspects. Shiva is both a yogi who lives outside of society and a king who rules the world. His yogic qualities can be seen in the matted locks of hair and the cobra that girds his torso, yet he wears a king’s crown. The forward-looking face of Shiva embodies his sovereignty. He grants freedom from fear with the gesture of his upraised right hand; his lowered left hand holds a citrus fruit, used in temple worship. His feminine aspect embodies features associated with creation and nurturing. She emanates as his wife Parvati, here seen as his left face. His right head is Bhairava, whose fearsome face embodies Shiva’s powers of destruction. His two sons, the elephant-headed Ganesha and the warrior Skanda, stand at his feet. Shiva’s vehicle, the bull Nandi, turns his head with a determination in all three of his eyes, which mirror the three eyes of Shiva.
  • 1969–1989
    Severance A. [1895–1985] and Greta [Marguerite Steckerl] Millikin [1903–1989], Cleveland, OH, given to the Cleveland Museum of Art
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Catalogue of the Severance and Greta Millikin Collection. Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Museum of Art, 1990. cat. no. 183
    Pal, Pratapaditya, Amy Heller, Oskar von Hinüber, and Gautamavajra Vajrācārya. Himalayas: An Aesthetic Adventure. Chicago, IL: Art Institute of Chicago in association with University of California Press and Mapin Pub, 2003. cat. no. 67, p. 112
    Cleveland Museum of Art. The CMA Companion: A Guide to the Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 2014. Mentioned and reproduced: P. 205
    Reddy, Ravinder. Arms & Armour of India, Nepal & Sri Lanka: Types, Decoration and Symbolism. London: Hali Publications, 2018. Reproduced: p. 226
  • The Severance and Greta Millikin Collection. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (July 5-September 2, 1990).
    Himalayas: An Aesthetic Adventure. The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL (organizer) (April 5-August 17, 2003); National Museum of Asian Art, Washington, DC (October 19, 2003-January 11, 2004).
  • {{cite web|title=Standing Shiva Mahadeva|url=false|author=|year=700s|access-date=04 March 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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