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Serpent Deity (Nagaraja), 100-150

India: Uttar Pradesh, Mathura, 100-150
overall: 78-1/4 x 34-5/8 x 13 in. (198.8 x 87.9 x 33 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
© The Norton Simon Foundation

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Serpents (nagas) are credited with the power to cause rain, bringing forth growth and abundance. Because they shed their skins, they are also considered symbols of regeneration. In Indian art, serpent deities are often represented as humans with snake hoods. The importance of this figure is conveyed by his frontal pose, his monumental size, and the seven-headed snake hood that rises above him like an enormous canopy.

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