Siva-Parvati and Allied Images
Author: Donaldson, Thomas Eugene
The work explores the physical and emotional interaction between Shiva and Parvati as represented in sculptural works in the Indian subcontinent. In two volumes, it examines a host of images supported by classifications of Shiva-Parvati figures in texts like the Shaiva Agamas and iconographic studies of the past decades. It surveys an astounding sculptural diversity of Shiva-Parvati icons particularly forms of seated or standing Umasahita-murti, standing Alingana murti and Tantric forms of the deities. The images are related not only to religious beliefs but also iconographical research â€” for instance, linking depiction of figures in certain postures and areas to their places of origin. With numerous charts, it highlights iconographical peculiarities, distribution and popularity, and identifies similarities and differences over periods of time and areas of making. Referring to sculptural collections in museums and private acquisitions, the painstaking research examines the sculptors technique of combining aesthetic harmony and beauty with the sacred in ontological symbols as of Umamaheshvara. There is a detailed mythological background concentrating on the individual character of Shiva and Parvati in their mutual relationship; their marriage and conjugal life; explicitly Shaiva motifs where the major concern is with the all-important Lord Shiva; and the physical and emotional interaction of Shiva and Parvati as man and wife.