Ardhanarishvara is a composite androgynous form of the Hindu god Shiva and his consort Parvati. Ardhanarishvara is depicted as half male and half female, split down the middle.
The earliest Ardhanarishvara images are dated to the Kushan period, starting from the first century CE. Its iconography evolved and was perfected in the Gupta era. The Puranas and various iconographic treatises write about the mythology and iconography of Ardhanarishvara. While Ardhanarishvara remains a popular iconographic form found in most Shiva temples throughout India, very few temples are dedicated to this deity.
Ardhanarishvara represents the synthesis of masculine and feminine energies of the universe and illustrates how Shakti, the female principle of God, is inseparable from Shiva, the male principle of God. The union of these principles is exalted as the root and womb of all creation. Another view is that Ardhanarishvara is a symbol of Shiva’s all-pervasive nature.
Size: 14.5" x 10"
This print has gone through many monsoons (with months of humidity), so it may have some staining and discoloration, along with some marks, that come with daily use and age.
In the period following independence in 1947 in India, the religious print business in India grew dramatically in its scale and diversity. All the prints I import from India are from this era and are a lot more colorful and bold in comparison to the very early prints in the late 1800's.
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