Durga, Kali, and the Matrikas Battle the Demon Raktabija: Scene from the Devi Mahatmya
Attributed to a first-generation master after Nainsukh (active ca. 1735–78)
India (Himachal Pradesh, Guler)
Ink, ocher and underdrawing
Image (sight): 8 3/4 x 11 3/4 in. (22.2 x 29.8 cm)
Gift of Subhash Kapoor, in memory of his parents, Smt Shashi Kanta and Shree Parshotam Ram Kapoor, 2008
Not on view
Following the route of the Daitya army, the demon Raktabija attacks the goddess Kali. Initially, this foe seemed invincible because with each drop of his blood that fell on the ground another demon sprang up. However, the emaciated Kali was able to consume the falling blood, allowing the demon to be defeated. Here, Raktabija defends himself from Durga’s multi-armed assault, while the demons being created out of his wounds stand along Kali’s extended tongue.
Inscription: Inscription on top center indicating number three.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Living Line: Selected Indian Drawings from the Subhash Kapoor Gift," March 25, 2009–September 7, 2009.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Mother India: The Goddess in Indian Painting," June 29, 2011–November 27, 2011.