Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Posthumous Portrait of a queen as Parvati, Eastern Javanese period, ca. early 14th century
    Indonesia (Java)
    Andesite; H. 6 ft. 8 in. (203.2 cm)
    Purchase, 2001 Benefit Fund, 2001 (2001.407)

    Kings and queens were believed to have a divine origin, being human incarnations of gods on earth. When they died, they were thought to be reunited with the deity from whom they originated.

    Posthumous commemorative royal portraits such as this one represent that moment coinciding with death when the temporal ruler is reintegrated with the original deity. In this case, an historical queen, whose identity is currently unknown to us, is depicted as the Hindu goddess Parvati, the consort of Shiva. She stands on Shiva's vehicle, the bull Nandi, and is flanked by her two children. Standing in an unusual yogic pose is Ganesha, the pot-bellied, elephant-headed god who controls obstacles and, seated, Karttikeya, the god of war and general of the army of the gods.

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  • Posthumous Portrait of a queen as Parvati, Eastern Javanese period, ca. early 14th century
    Indonesia (Java)
    Andesite; H. 6 ft. 8 in. (203.2 cm)
    Purchase, 2001 Benefit Fund, 2001 (2001.407)

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