Rare Bronze Mukhalinga
height: 12 cm
This delicate and refined mukhalinga is cast with a contemplative face and elaborate earrings. The head has a spherical compactness emphasised by the unusual absence of a helmet, crown or hair ornaments. It has a lovely, warm patina. Three curved lines on the forehead are in keeping with Shaivite iconography: usually such lines are drawn by sadhus, the ascetics of the Shaivite sect, with the ashes from sacred fire. The lines represent control over the three worlds: the world below, the earth itself, and the celestial regions.
A mukhalinga showing similar facial form is shown in Aryan, S., Unknown Masterpieces of Indian Folk and Tribal Art, KC Aryan’s Home of Folk Art, 2005, p. 55. Other examples are shown in Freschi, R., ‘Mukhalinga: The countenance of the hero god’, Arts of Asia, January-February, 1987.
Inventory no.: 121