This is Siva appearing in response to Markandeya’s, who is shown kneeling and holding Linga for protection, request for protection from Yama, the God of death. For the full story please see this Markandeya blog.
Here Siva, the deity in the middle, is sporting Ganga, the river Goddess, and crescent moon on his Jatamukuta. Siva has positioned himself between Markandeya, his devotee, and Yama who is seeking to end Markandeya’s life. Siva’s lower right hand is on Markandeya’s head giving him assurance and protection. Siva’s trident is directed at Yama as a warning.
Yama is identified by the noose, sword, the Gada (mace) and his vahana, a water buffalo. Yama’s hands are in anjali mudra in a gesture of supplication.
The artist has managed to capture the moment well, showing three different emotions fear, anger and supplication.
This chromolithograph is from Raja Ravi Varma Press and it is about 35 by 25 cm. This may date to the early part of the twentieth century.