Somaskandamurti is one of the most popular religious images in South India. The four-armed Shiva holds a battle-ax and a deer in his upper hands and a citron in his lower left hand. His lower right hand is raised in abhayamudra (the gesture that allays fear). His consort, Parvati, clasps a water lily in her right hand. Between them stands Skanda, their infant son, bejeweled and with a lotus in his right hand. Four rings at the lower corners of the pedestal allowed the sculpture to be secured to a platform in order to be carried in processions.
Dr. J. R. Belmont , Basel, Switzerland (by ca. 1950–1967, sold to Ellsworth); [ Robert H. Ellsworth , New York, 1967, sold to Humann]; Christian Humann , New York (1967 until d. 1981, estate sale by Ellsworth to MMA); [ R. H. Ellsworth Ltd. , New York, 1982, sold to MMA]