This sculpture originally from India was made in bronze throughout the 12th century, and today it is one of the treasures of oriental art which owns the prestigious Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands.
In the Hindu religion there are three divinities that stand out above the rest. One of them is Brahma, who is the soul and creator of the universe. And accompanying him on the highest of the Hindu Olympus are Visnu and Shiva. The first would be the preserver of the world, while Shiva would be the opposite of him, the destroyer.
This bronze depicts Shiva, who is nevertheless a deity who has the power to destroy the universe but in order to make it reborn. That is, he embodies the concept of death and the constant renewal of nature. All this is what can be unraveled if the symbols hidden in this delicate sculpture are discovered, in which the rhythm of its forms, dominated by curves and of course by dance, is aesthetically striking, since it represents the divinity a more emblematic attitude: the Dancing Shiva.
We see her dancing her incessant cosmic dance surrounded by a circle of fire. With this element it is clearly alluded to the power of destruction of him. We see that the goddess has two pairs of arms, something that comes to represent her multiple abilities and powers, in addition to technicallymultiplying the number of arms allowed the artist to guarantee the stability of the figure since it rests on a single foot.
In order to stabilize the figure, the bronze threads that represent his long hair also help, a symbol of his enormous youthful energy. And it is that Shiva is always young and powerful: And she is always in a continuous movement in the form of a dance that is a constant cycle of destruction and rebirth. A dance that has a certain rhythm and of course has a cosmic character, since it affects all beings in the universe. In fact, the beat of the foot that is in the air marks that rhythm and is also indicative of time and the age of the world.
While with the other foot, in addition to supporting himself, he is stepping on a demon. This is the personification of ignorance, one of the evils that threaten the human being.
In short, as occurs in the religious representations of all the great cultures of the world, also in the figures, sculptures, reliefs or architectures of medieval India, it is The symbology and iconography of the representations is extremely important, whose meanings are known by all believers of that religion, although some are symbols that can only be deciphered by the most initiated.