6 LARGE SANDSTONE HEAD OF BHAIRAVA


 

Catalogue no. 6 LARGE SANDSTONE HEAD OF BHAIRAVA

WESTERN OR CENTRAL INDIA

PROBABLY RAJASTHAN

10TH-11TH CENTURY

H. 37 CMS, 14 ½ INS

A large, dramatic and powerfully sculpted reddish-brown sandstone head of the Hindu god Bhairava (the fierce manifestation of Shiva), with protruding fangs, wide-open eyes and demonic gaze, the forehead with a large ovoid urna, the piled up hair adorned with a crescent moon and secured by a diadem decorated with skulls.

The Shaivite tradition within Hinduism celebrates Shiva as the Supreme Being. In Shaivism, Bhairava is the fierce manifestation of Shiva associated with annihilation.

For a closely related and complete figure of Bhairava in the Museum für Indische Kunst, Berlin see cat. no. 46 in S. Doshi (ed.), Treasures of Indian Art: Germany’s Tribute to India’s Cultural Heritage, New Delhi: National Museum, 1998.

Provenance: Private collection, UK. Acquired in the 1970s.