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Kali and Shiva

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India Anonymous,
Kali and Shiva, 18th c.
Marble
30 1/4 in. x 23 1/2 in. x 11 1/2 in. (76.84 cm x 59.69 cm x 29.21 cm)


Object Type: Sculpture
Technique: Carving
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. Edward Nagel
Accession Number: 71.1.102


Commentary
Kali, an incarnation of Shiva's wife Parvati, represents feminine energies, sexuality, fertility, and death. As a slayer of demons, she wears a necklace of skulls and a skirt of severed limbs. Kali strides across an inert Shiva, celebrating her victories against evil and then gaining control of her violent forces to become a giver of life.
- Dr. Bruce A. Coats, 2022

Marks
No marks.

Medium
Carved black and white marbles, with a lacquered wood base. Carved completely in the round and showing traces of paint.

Object Description
Kali is shown standing on the reclining figure of Shiva. Shiva is carved of white marble. He lies on his back, with his right arm behind his head. His left hand holds a cylindrical object, possibly a drum. A snake is wrapped around his head like a crown. Kali stands atop Shiva, fitting into the marble of his figure by a carved tounge and groove fixture. She is carved out of black marble, with her four arms outstretched, and tounge out. She wears a necklace of skulls and a waistband of arms. The sculpted group is set in a black lacquered wooden base.

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