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Emblem of God Shiva with Four Faces (Chaturmukhalinga)

A work made of sandstone.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of sandstone.


7th/8th century



About this artwork

The most sacred aspect of Shiva, one of the principal gods of Hinduism, the linga is the main focus of worship in temples dedicated to him. Taking the form of the phallus, it symbolizes Shiva’s yogic control of the cosmic creative force. This chaturmukhalinga (Shiva linga with four faces) aligns with the cardinal directions and represents the four aspects of the god: creation, wrath, gentleness, and ascetic self-discipline. Worship of the linga dates back to the most ancient times in the Indian subcontinent.


On View, Gallery 141


Arts of Asia


Emblem of God Shiva with Four Faces (Chaturmukhalinga)


Rajasthan (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

601 CE–800 CE




71.7 × 40.6 × 44 cm (28 1/4 × 16 × 17 5/16 in.)

Credit Line

James W. and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection. Gift of Marilynn Alsdorf

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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