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Shiva's Bull, c. 800

Cambodia: Pre-Angkor period, 775-825
20 x 22 x 12-1/2 in. (50.8 x 55.9 x 31.8 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

On view

Shiva is often accompanied by a bull, his companion and mode of transportation, who is described as having a huge body, soft brown eyes and skin white as snow. While the Sanskrit word for bull is vrisha, Shiva’s bull is more commonly known by the misnomer Nandi, which means “joyful.” In a temple, he usually sits facing the image of his master.

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