A tall and slender Ardhanarishvara, the fusion of Lord Shiva into His Devi Parvati. Long limbs and a finely sculpted torso, sharp and angular on one side, soft and curvaceous on the other. The perfect asymmetry of the adornments, the befitting dichotomy of tiger-skin loincloth versus silken floor-length dhoti. A perfectly round face that bears a composure of equanimity and omnivolence. Ardhanarishvara is the deified image of the purusha-prakrti confluence that leads to srshti (creative projection) as we perceive it (drshyam).
So much about this Ardhanarishvara sculpture betrays the Southern artisanry. The tapering crown that towers atop the deity’s head. The wide-set brow and the sharp features of the face. The signature karnakundalas. Finally, the statement pedestal comprising two layers of lotus petals attached to each other at the pistil. Note how the moss-coloured undertones of the work lend to it an aura of the ancient.