The Gods Sing and Dance for Shiva and Parvati

Attributed to Khushala, Indian, active late 18th centuryc. 1780-1790

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia, United States

Shiva and his wife Parvati rest on a tiger skin as they watch a pair of dancers accompanied by divine musicians. The group of performers is so large that it winds away behind the trees. Shiva, the great yogi, can be identified by his ash-white skin, long hair, snake jewelry, and third eye. However, he is shown here not as a terrifying ascetic god, but as a lovely prince on a bucolic outing. The text that this painting illustrates is unknown, but the scene may represent the celebration when Shiva accepts Parvati as his bride.


  • Title: The Gods Sing and Dance for Shiva and Parvati
  • Creator Lifespan: 1767/1799
  • Creator Nationality: Indian
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Date Created: c. 1780-1790
  • Location: Himachal Pradesh, India, India
  • Physical Dimensions: w12.95 x h9 in (Overall)
  • Provenance: 125th Anniversary Acquisition. Alvin O. Bellak Collection, 2004
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: © 2014 Philadelphia Museum of Art. All rights reserved.
  • External Link: Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Medium: Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
  • or made in: Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Probably made in: Guler, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Manuscript/Series/Book Title: Page from an unidentified dispersed series
  • Attributed artist: Attributed to Khushala, Indian, active late 18th century

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