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Shiva as Lord of the Dance (Nataraja)Enlarge image

Shiva as Lord of the Dance (Nataraja), 19th century

Unknown (Indian - 19th century)

bronze
56.1 x 44.6 x 20.5 cm
Gift of the Government of India, 1965
National Gallery of Canada (no. 14749)

Shiva, one of the three principal divinities of the Hindu pantheon, is simultaneously the creator and the destroyer of the world. In his form as Nataraja he is the cosmic dancer who maintains the universe entire. It is in this form that he is worshipped, particularly by dancers and actors.

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