Nataraja Siva
NATARAJA SIVA, "Lord of the Dance"; S. Indian; bronze inlaid with turqoise and coral; 19th C; H - 17.5"

SIVA, the Hindu god of creation and destruction performs his 'Dance of Bliss', creating and destroying the cosmos in an eternal cycle of regeneration. Siva stands on a demon dwarf grasping a cobra in his hand symbolizing ignorance overcome by the deity, and is surrounded by the blazing halo of the cosmos. His lower right hand is raised in a gesture (Abhaya Mudra) dispelling fear and the lower left points downward to his raised foot, signaling deliverance.