Shiva Parvathi group

The Naga, Ganga’s head, crescent moon, horizontal religious mark, Trishul and Drum leaves no doubt regarding the deity. It is Shiva. Here he is accompanied by his consort Parvathi, sitting on his left thigh, and their son Ganesha, perched on Shiva’s right thigh.

It is rich in symbolism and, perhaps, crowded in features and attributes. Folk bronzes, this is one, tend to be ‘crowded’. It is debatable as to whether this is folk. See below (notes on 21st Nov 22).

Ganesha and Parvathi are cast separately and attached. Not unusual, especially in recent bronzes.

The absence of Karthikeya is worth noting. In parts of Maharashtra and adjoining parts of Karnataka, women are not allowed to worship Karthikeya. That practice may have influenced the composition.

The Vigraha is about 9.5 cm in height. It is from Maharashtra. Relatively new and it is dated to the 20th century.

It is included in the collection for the quality of workmanship, detailing, its rich iconographic features and as an example of living art.

21 Nov 2022: This post sparked some serious interest. I stand corrected on the geographic attribution and the style classification. This Vigraha is from Maharastra and I had suggested North Deccan. The wooden sculpture below is from Kelkar Museum, Pune. It was provided by Shivam Turkar. To quote him, “This is not folk n a classic Aundh style of Maharashtra” .

On the folk Vs classical style, if this Vigraha had been from South India, one would have termed it folk. Something new.

21 Nov 2022: Quite a few of the readers suggested this Vigraha is from Varanasi. This needs a bit more research on my part. History supports the connection between Aundh and Varanasi style.


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