The sculpted image brings the two Hindu deities; Shiva and Parvati, into a mutual harmony that pictures a microcosm of the Hindu society. Upon critical assessment of the artwork, it is clear that there was an elucidation of a vision of reunion of nature. The artwork can be said to be a microcosm of societal codependence and coexistence. Moreover, the elucidation and texture of the sculpture exudes power and authority to the viewer in the finest nuances. The Stele with Shiva and Parvati is a high relief sculpture on hard wood. In the sculpture, the deities are attended by their offspring; the human headed Skanda on the lower right and the elephant headed Ganesha on the lower left. There is also Shiva’s bull Nandi that protrudes his head besides Shiva’s right hip. Notable in this artwork is the detail with which the sculpture tried to create the whole form. In this artwork, as in the other works of Indian art, there is a voluptuous feeling because of the freedom of expression. This form gives the artwork a strong sense of Indian culture of the 10th and 11th century. The sculpture is a depiction of images that were central to the iconography of Paryathi in India including the theme of Shiva, the image of Shiva and the image of Liga and Yoni. The images form a combination of Shiva and Parvati, yielding a vision of reconciliation as seen in the sculpture. In the artwork, it is clear that the two deities are interdependent and their positioning breaks the rule of Indian art a little by depicting the two with no significant size difference. They are therefore, almost commanding the same power and ability. This means that may be the person who curved it attempted to deconstruct the Hindu social expectation and hierarchy of deities. Although, in reality the Shiva looks bigger in size and form in this sculpture; the earlier artworks depicts this difference as substantial. The form and texture of the sculpture is also an interesting part. For example, the combination of the two deities may also symbolize a union of man and woman in elation and sexual bliss; given by the shiny surface which characterizes sexual power. As alluded before, the style in this sculpture is slightly drifting from the traditional Hindu art made before and after by the fact that in the creation of the two deities, Shiva is depicted as powerful and huge in size than Parvati who is depicted as smaller in size and submissive. The Hindu mythology has it that Parvati is the source of all power, and although Parvati is junior to Shiva, Shiva gets all his power from her. Therefore, this artwork stands with its own narrative different from the pieces created of Shiva and Parvati before and after this work’s creation period. This makes it representative of style of the artworks created during its time, but different to the then popular thematic narrative. This sculpture was intended to be placed in a temple or visible public walls in India because it depicted two deities, which were highly significant in the Hindu religion. In line with the dressing code of the central India, Parvati is in a dress that flows to her feet. Their independence to each other depicts the way Indian religion viewed the deities as independent, but mutually
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Tutor Date Museum Visit and Analysis of a Work of Art When I first saw the sculpture of Shiva and Parvati (Dated 10TH or 11TH Century, as marked in the museum), I was attracted to analyze the details of the sculpture. Before reading the description for the artwork, I could notice its detailed features, especially the three headed male figure and the one headed female figure depicting their distinct powers…
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