VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Siva Mahadeva
6050
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The four-armed deity is Siva Mahadeva, the highest deity in Hinduism, dressed in royal attire. The gesture of the upper right hand suggests it once held a rosary. In the upper left hand is a fly whisk, in the lower left hand a vessel of the kendi type with a curved spout, possibly bent out of shape. The sacred thread takes the shape of a snake, and wears a tiger skin. The eyes, including the third eye in the forehead have been inlaid in silver, inspired by the bronze sculpture of eastern India. The Siva Mahadeva from Tegal Central Java is the finest bronze. The extraordinarily fine workmanship in the sensitive modelling of the hands, the detailed execution of the rich jewellery, and the tall head-dress makes this one of the finest ancient Javanese bronzes.

History of the Object
It is the only bronze of this size to have escaped the crucible-by being thrown into the river Kali Wadas, in which it was rediscovered in 1933 by farmers taking a bath. Although it has lost its halo, its pedestal and two of its right hands and the head of the snake of the upavita. Neither in Indonesia, nor in India has any other statue of this size, quality and style survived.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Bronze with gold and silver inlay. 
Measurements
Width 28 cm. Height 107,5 cm.  
Creator name
unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Indonesia; Java; Tegal 
Geography
Indonesia 
Time period
AD 9th century ~ AD 9th century 
Creation date
9th Century 
Function
worship 
Acquisition
It probably became part of the museum collection after having been found by farmers in 1933. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Museum Nasional 
Museum
National Museum of Indonesia 
Credit line
 

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