Home > Explore + Learn > History | Art | Culture > India: Shiva Nataraja (Lord of the Dance) > The Image

Shiva Nataraja: Back

Move your mouse above to explore a detail view

image head wheel

Mouse over the Shiva Nataraja to learn more

Head-Wheel

This small halo-like ornament was created to cover the knot that secures a headband
  • zoom
  • notes
view back
view front

Shiva Nataraja

Shiva Nataraja depicts the Hindu god Shiva as "Lord of the Dance," engaged in the dynamic, victorious "dance of bliss" (ananda tandava) he performed after defeating arrogant sages in the Chidambaram forest. In representations of the deity, such as this tenth-century bronze sculpture in the Freer's collection, every feature reveals important details. Click the options below the image to have a closer look, find out more, or see another view of Shiva Nataraja.

Open interactive in a new window

Print the image with related notes (PDF)


The Freer|Sackler is currently closed for renovations, updates, and gallery reinstallation. The popular exhibition Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan is still on view in the International Gallery. (Enter through the Ripley Center.) Please join us for our weekend-long reopening celebration on October 14 and 15, 2017.