Journal of Religion in Europe 4 (2011) 204–222 © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011 DOI 10.1163/187489210X553566 brill.nl/jre Journal of Religion in Europe Th e Dancing Shiva: South Indian Processional Bronze, Museum Artwork, and Universal Icon Johannes Beltz Museum Rietberg Zurich Gablerstrasse 15, CH-8002 Zurich, Switzerland Johannes.Beltz@zuerich.ch Abstract Today, in addition to the Om sign or the image of Ganesha, the image of the dancing Shiva is one of the best known Hindu symbols in the world: the ‘Nataraja’ is not only omnipresent in museums; his image adorns holy cards, posters, holiday brochures, as well as countless websites and diverse esoteric and academic book covers. Th is article examines how this image could attain such great popularity. It focuses on processes of cultural appropriation and reinterpretation. Originally a southern Indian processional bronze, the dancing Shiva became transformed into a museum artwork and a universal icon. Th is paper traces the diﬀ erent actors, networks and interactions behind this career from southern Indian temples to the stages of the Western world. Keywords Shiva , India , Hinduism , art , museum , dance , Orientalism 1. Introduction Shiva is one of the most important, as well as one of the
Journal of Religion in Europe – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2011
Keywords: ART; ORIENTALISM; MUSEUM; INDIA; DANCE; HINDUISM; SHIVA
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