acrylic on canvas
48 x 24 inches
Parvati is a Hindu goddess, the consort of Shiva, who is worshipped in many forms, both peaceful and wrathful. Parvati is her gentle form as the wife of Shiva. Her wrathful forms are Kali and Durga. This image is taken from an 11th century metal sculpture from the Chola Empire which ruled southern India c. 850-1250 AD.
This image demonstrates the sensuousness with which religious figures were depicted in India. This aesthetic has its roots in the concept of bhakti, which can be translated as intense, blissful devotion to a Hindu god. This was reinforced by the poets of the day who wrote rapturously of the beauty of the physical appearance of the gods. Indian sculptures of the gods were used in public displays and pujas, often dressed elaborately and paraded through the streets on holy days. The ornaments that decorate the body such as arm bands, bracelets, anklets and even clothing functioned to beautify the body, but also as protection from evil forces.