A fair Nandi traversing rough terrain. On His wide-set back sit Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati. He is seated on a tigerskin mat, an indispensable expression of His asceticism in traditional Shaivite iconography. The scarlet saree of His wife, breathtakingly beautiful as She is, accentuates Her divine femininity.
There is remarkable dynamism in Nandi’s stance. His strong, muscular legs give the impression of perpetual motion. He turns His neck backwards and tongues the hem of His Lord’s gold-coloured dhoti, a gesture of taurine devotion. Down that pristine neck is a cascade of studded gold necklaces done in pure metallic inlay over high-precision gesso-work.
Along the terrain beneath Nandi’s feet, there are minimalistic imprints of various pashu (animals). It is a nod to the Pashupatinath epithet of Shiva, which conveys His lordship (‘nath’) and mastery (‘pati’) over the animal kingdom. The black night of the background brings out the luxuriance of the gold gessowork at multiple points in the foreground.
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