Copper alloy; 11 1/8 in. (28.3 cm)
Samuel Eilenberg Collection, Purchase, Rogers Fund, 1987 (1987.218.1)
Depictions of the Hindu god Shiva seated with his wife Uma (also known as Parvati) are the most popular of Nepalese Shiva-related subjects and symbolize the ultimate oneness of male and female, and by analogy, all things. This concept is expressed here with great tenderness and elegance. While their exquisitely rendered facial expressions convey inner joy, the physical and emotional inseparability of the divine lovers is shown through the subtle interrelationships of their poses: Uma leans in toward Shiva and places her hand on his leg while he lovingly draws her toward him. Shiva's two right hands hold prayer beads and a lotus bud. His upper left hand, now missing, probably once held a trident while his lower left hand embraces his wife. Uma holds a lotus, a symbol of divine purity, which is being pecked at by a parrot, a symbol of passion, perched on her forearm.