Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Durga and Kali Approach the Gathered Armies of Chanda and Munda: Scene from the Devi Mahatmya

ca. 1780
India (Himachal Pradesh, Guler)
Ink and opaque watercolor on paper
7 3/4 x 11 5/8 in. (19.7 x 29.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Cynthia Hazen Polsky, 1997
Accession Number:
Not on view
The second great battle in the Devi Mahatmya occurs when Durga tells the terrible demon Shumbha that she will only marry a man who defeats her in battle. He responds by sending the demons Chanda and Munda and their armies to drag her back by her hair for her insolence. After Durga manifests Kali from her brow, the two enter the battle. This work directly corresponds to the text, which describes Kali, looking gruesome with emaciated skin, devouring elephants and riders by pulverizing them with her teeth. This preparatory sketch includes color notations and initial coloring. The page was overlaid with a grid, presumably to allow the image to be transferred or enlarged.
Inscription: Numbered 33 above; abraded and obscured devanagari inscriptions on upper picture surface
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