Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Shiva (Indian God) - Shivaa (Female Form)

ལྷ་དབང་ཕྱུག། ཧིན་དྷུ་དང་ནང་པ། 自在天(印度和佛教神)
(item no. 65427)
Origin Location Northern India
Date Range 900 - 999
Lineages Hindu
Size 22.50cm (8.86in) high
Material Metal, Silver Inlay
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Peaceful

Gender: Female

Interpretation / Description

Shivaa, or Maheshvari.

Parvati, the consort of Shiva is one identification for this sculpture. However it is more likely to be Shivaa (with a long 'a' at the end of the spelled name) the female form of the god Shiva or Maheshvari one of the Seven Mothers (Sapta Matraka). In both of these forms the female bears the attributes and buffalo mount of Lord Shiva.

Shivaa is either the female form of Shiva or the consort of Shiva. She is identified by having the same attributes such as the crescent moon in the hair, mala in the right hand, trident in the left hand and riding Nandi the bull. All of these are unique attributes to Shiva - not unique to Parvati.

If Parvati she is the daughter of the god Himavat (Himalaya), wife of the god Shiva, mother of the elephant-headed Ganesha and Kumara Kartika; in her fearsome form she is Kali, Durga and power itself - Shakti.

The different forms of Shiva, Shivaa and Parvati, along with the other consorts of Shiva arise out of different literature and narratives.

Jeff Watt 5-2005 (revised 3-2008/4-2014)

Secondary Images
Related Items
Exhibition Appearances
Exhibition: RMA Masterworks, January 28th, 2021
Exhibition: Female Buddhas at RMA

Publication: Selection of Works - Sculpture (RMA)

Thematic Sets
Collection of RMA: Best of Collection (Sculpture)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Info
Hindu Deity: Shiva Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Tara (Riding a Cow)
Hindu Deity: Shivaa
Hindu Deity: Shiva Masterworks
Subject: Androgynous Gods, Gender Reversed Deities
Hindu Religion Masterworks (Sculpture)
Hindu Deity: Shiva Iconography
Ritual Object: Trident
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Sculpture (Gallery 1)
Buddhist Deity: Shiva-like Figures
Sculpture: Kashmir Style (Masterworks)
Hindu Deity: Parvati
Collection of RMA: Best of Collection 1
Collection of RMA: Selected Sculpture
Region: Kashmir Style Art Main Page
Region: Kashmir, Sculpture Main Page
Collection of Jourdan-Barry
Sculpture: Figurative, Three Parts