16 September 2009
A rare Gray schist relief with Shiva and Parvati
Gandhara, 3rd/4th century
With the four-armed three-headed Shiva at left, Parvati at his side, Karttikeya holding a spear and with his peacock mount, and the multi-headed Krittika at right, all with round nimbus except the latter
10¾ in. (27 cm.) wide
Private collection, London, 1970s
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J. Sherrier, 'Siva in Gandhara,' South Asian Archaeology, 1991, pp. 617-24, pl. 481a and b.
I. Kurita, Gandharan Art, 2003, vol. II, fig. 519, p. 180.
This very rare image includes the multi-headed figure of Krittika at the far right. According to the legend, when Subramanya was born, the Devas appointed six mothers called Krittikas to breast-feed him. Subramanya developed six faces so as to feed on six breasts at the same time.
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