India (Jammu and Kashmir, ancient kingdom of Kashmir)
H. 14 in. (35.5 cm)
Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 1989
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 237
Shiva manifest in human form emerging from the linga shaft is a celebrated representation of the god that rose to prominence in North India during the fifth century. In this masterful rendering, the handsome face gives a sweet countenance to this complex deity; he displays the third eye of supreme wisdom, wears large ear plugs, and has his wavy hair drawn up into a double-looped chignon decorated by a crescent moon, his signature motif. Incised lines define the phallic glands.