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Catalog Data

H x W x D: 59.2 x 71.8 x 31.6 cm (23 5/16 x 28 1/4 x 12 7/16 in)
Tamil Nadu state, India
12th century
Chola dynasty
By 1959-?
Shiva Temple in Alattur village, Mannarkudi taluk, Tamil Nadu, India [1]
William H. Wolff, Inc., method of acquisition unknown [2]
Arthur M. Sackler (1913 1987), purchased from William H. Wolff, Inc. [3]
From 1987
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Dr. Arthur M. Sackler [4]
[1] In the fall of 2022, the museum discovered that the Somaskanda bronze was photographed in the Shiva temple (also known as Visvanatha) located in Alattur village (alternate spelling: Alathur), Mannarkudi taluk (alt spelling: Mannargudi), Tamil Nadu, India, in 1959; the original photograph is at the photo archive jointly run by the École Française d'Extrême Orient (EFEO) and the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP). It is unclear when the sculpture left the Tamil Nadu temple.
[2] See invoice from William H. Wolff, Inc. to Dr. Arthur M. Sackler, February 11th 1970, copy in object file. The work is described as "02/311 A: Large Bronze SOMASKANDA (seated Siva & Parvati) 23" high, India, Chola Period, 10th century." See also, undated document entitled "Dr. Sackler Selection" on William H. Wolff, Inc. letter head, where work is listed as "02/311 A, Chola Sumaskanda[sic]," copy in object file.
[3] See note 2.
[4] Pursuant to the agreement between Dr. Arthur M. Sackler and the Smithsonian Institution, dated July 28, 1982, legal title of the donated objects was transferred to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery on September 11, 1987.
Research updated on May 8, 2023.
Arthur M. Sackler Collection
Exhibition History:
Gods, Companions, and Devotees (October 14, 2017 to March 13, 2020)
Sculpture of South Asia and the Himalayas (November 19, 1992 to July 9, 2017)
Previous custodian or owner:
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987)
Shiva Temple in Alattur village, Mannarkudi taluk, Tamil Nadu, India
Hinduism  Search this
Shiva  Search this
Uma  Search this
Chola dynasty (850 - 1280)  Search this
India  Search this
South Asian and Himalayan Art  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Accession Number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
Related Online Resources:
Google Cultural Institute
See more items in:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection
Data Source:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery