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Three Hindu Gods

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Three Hindu Gods

10th Century -12th Century
22 3/8 x 15 3/4 x 9 3/8 in. (56.8 x 40 x 23.8 cm)

Unknown, Indian
Indian

Object Type: Sculpture
Medium and Support: Red sandstone
Credit Line: R.T. Miller Fund
Accession Number: 1961.12
Location: Currently on view
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The identity of the three Hindu gods in this sculpture remains a mystery. The most common three-headed sculpture in Hindu art is of Brahma-Shiva-Vishnu. The cobras around the heads are sometimes associated with Brahma, the Creator; Shiva, the Destroyer; and Vishnu, the Preserver. The monkey on the left side of the sculpture could refer to Prince Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu and the protagonist of The Ramayana, one of India's great national epic poems, because an army of monkeys and bears helped him defeat the demon king Ravana. One missing visual element, however, suggests that the sculpture does not contain the god Shiva, who can always be identified by the presence of a third eye.

[Gallery label text, 2009]

Provenance
William H. Wolff, New York (dealer); purchased from him by the Gallery in 1961

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