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Birmingham Museum of Art
Shiva Nataraja (Lord of Dance) 2013
Artist: Sri Pradakaran, Sri Govindan and Sri Pratiban Sri Rajan Industries, Tamilnadu, India
This is a bronze sculpture of the Hindu god Shiva in his dancing form of Nataraja (Lord of Dance). As Nataraja, Shiva performs the Ananda Tandava (dance of bliss), the dance in which the universe is created, maintained, and dissolved. This sculpture depicts all three of those aspects at once. Shiva in his role as Nataraja represents the Indian conception of the never-ending cycle of time. The purpose of this sculpture is to alert the viewer that through belief and devotion to Shiva, one can achieve salvation (or moksha). Cast in 2013, this sculpture is an example of the centuries-old tradition of the lost-wax casting method perfected during India’s Chola dynasty (c. 850 CE – 1250 CE).