05. Paubha of Shiva

Nepal
mid 18th Century
Distemper on cloth
22 1/8 by 28½ in. (56.2 by 72.4 cm.)

Provenance:
English Private Collection, 1997

This finely-executed and detailed painting depicts enshrined multi-armed Shiva seated on two images of Nandi and holding various implements in his ten hands.  He wears a tiger skin and is adorned with various jewels and a foliate crown.  His three-tiered pavilion is supported by roaring lions below and features niches of lingam and yoni in the second tier and a Bhairava mask in the uppermost tier.  The shrine is surrounded by Hindu deities, including Ganesha, Ardhanarishvara, Vishnu, and Surya.

Compare a closely-related example depicting various Saiva shrines in Pal, P., Art of Nepal, A Catalogue of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Collection, 1985, p. 74, no. P30 (Pal, P., The Arts of Nepal, Volume Two: Painting, Leiden, 1978, p. 92, no. 121).  Dr. Pal notes of the architectural elements shown in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art painting, as well in the present example, that: “Rising in three tiers, the central shrine is a copy of a temple design popular in the Kathmandu valley during the seventeenth century.  The forms of the elaborate temple and subsidiary shrines can be seen in both brick and stone in many religious structures all over the valley.”