The loving husband Shiva gathers His wife, Devi Parvati, in His arms. They are seated on the back of Nandi, the pristine bull who is their constant companion and greatest devotee. The anterior hands of Shiva are in the abhaya va aashirvada mudra, while the Devi wields in Her right hand a lotus as beauteous and serene as Her gentle face.
What you see on this page is a skilfully executed, authentic Tanjore painting. The garments of Lord Shiva and the hems of Devi Parvati’s saree are executed in gessowork layered with thick, pure gold. The same goes for their divine adornment and the crowns on their heads.
The deep scarlet-coloured background brings out the resplendence of the metallic embellishment. More of it along the circular edge of the aureole and the temple-entrance structure along the upper edge of the canvas. Note how the glory of the divine is intact as the three traverse across the merciless Himalayan terrain.
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