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Sundara Narayana. The half Shiva, half Vishnu form of God. . Also, a detail from the base of the temple column showing the marriage of Shiva and Parvati

Sundara Narayana. The half Shiva, half Vishnu form of God. . Also, a detail from the base of the temple column showing the marriage of Shiva and Parvati

Artist: Anonymous

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1801

Shelfmark: WD1063

Item number: f.25

Length: 37.1

Width: 24.8

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Pen and ink drawing of Sundara Narayana and a detail from the base of the temple column at Madurai, from an 'Album of 51 drawings (57 folios) of buildings, sculpture and paintings in the temple and choultry of Tirumala Nayyak at Madura. c.1801-05', by an anonymous artist working in the South India/Madurai style, c. 1801-1805. Each picture is inscribed with a title and a number in ink.

This drawing is of a carving that can be found in the Minakshi Sundareshvara Temple of Madurai, the sacred complex built under the patronage of the Nayaka ruler Tirumala in the 17th century. Within the large enclosure are two temples dedicated to Shiva as Sundareshvara with his consort Minakshi, and several mandapas (halls) with elaborately sculpted columns of the gods from the Hindu pantheon. Sundara Narayana or Hari-Hara represents the combined form of Shiva and Vishnu. The right half of the figure bears the attributes of Shiva while the left half represents Vishnu. The small group of figures on the left in the drawing represents the marriage of Shiva and Parvati.

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