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1. Stele of Bhairava
India; Rajasthan or Uttar Pradesh
12th century
sandstone
81 cm
Stele of Bhairava

Standing in an elegant tribhanga, Bhairava, the wrathful form of Shiva, is wearing a long dhoti secured with a beaded festooned belt, the sacred thread about his torso. The god is adorned with multiple necklaces, armlets and earrings. His bearded face shows almond-shaped eyes and his hair is pulled into a high chignon secured by a jewelled tiara, backed by a flaming halo. The stele is decorated with multiple deities on either side, flanked by mythical beasts and with flying celestial beings above. The front of the base presents animals and two devotees with hands folded in adoration flanking Shiva's mount, Nandi.

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