Description This blue god of ferocious form and ten arms is Bhairava, the angry manifestation of Shiva. In Nepal, he is popular with both Hindus and Buddhists and is also known as Mahakala. His posture is somewhere in between the militant "pratyalidha" posture of Bhairava and the bent-kneed posture of Mahakala. His stretched left leg is sufficiently bent to balance his spouse on the thigh, while the right presses down on his mount, who is the man ("nara"). Nine of his ten arms radiate symmetrically on either side, except one that holds the skull cup against his chest. The others hold various weapons and emblems. By contrast, his spouse only has two arms and sits in the graceful "lalitasana" posture, although not too comfortably. Her dangling left leg rests on her lion mount. The right hand displays the gesture of charity and the left holds a skull cup.
Provenance de Sedley Gallery, New York [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; John and Berthe Ford, Baltimore, October 1965, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 2006, by gift.
Credit Gift of John and Berthe Ford, 2006
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