Asian Art
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Hindu Saint Sambandar

12th–13th century


17 × 10 × 6 in. (43.2 × 25.4 × 15.2 cm)
Gift of the Rubin-Ladd Foundation under the bequest of Ester R. Portnow
Sambandar is one of sixty-three saints dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. According to legend, the three-year-old Sambandar became hungry while he was visiting a temple and was fed milk by a statue depicting Shiva and Parvati. Immediately, he became their devotee and spent the rest of his life dancing and singing their praises. Sambandar’s poems were influential in reviving Tamil-language verses, known as “musical poems” because they were often set to music.
Chola period (ca. 850–1275)
Tamil Nadu, India
On view

Hong Kong market, 1986; Yves Bonan, Hong Kong and Venice; Carlo Cristi, New York and Milan, Italy; The Rubin-Ladd Foundation, Georgetown, Conn.; November, 2007–2017; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Import documents on file.

This work appears on our "Antiquities and Archaeological Material with Provenance Documentation Gaps" page.


“Acquisitions July 1, 2016–June 30, 2017,” (accessed December 1, 2017).

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.