Exhibitions/ Art Object

Battle Scene from a Devi Mahatmya

late 18th century
India (Pahari Hills, Guler)
Ink, wash, and translucent watercolor on paper
Image (sight): 7 5/8 x 11 3/8 in. (19.4 x 28.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Subhash Kapoor, in memory of his parents, Smt Shashi Kanta and Shree Parshotam Ram Kapoor, 2008
Accession Number:
Not on view
The epic battle between the forces of the goddess Durga and those of a hoard of asuras, or demons, illustrates the power and varied forms of Devi. Centrally placed on the left is Durga on her lion; below, the emaciated Chamunda (Durga's terrifying aspect) advances. Surrounding them are female manifestations of the Hindu pantheon, the Matrikas; flying above are Vaishnavi on Garuda, Kaumari on a peacock, and Brahmani on a swan, while Indrani rides on an elephant and Maheswari on a bull.
Signature: Cf. Thomas Coburn, Encountering the Goddess: A translation of the Devi-Mahatmya and a Study of its Interpretation, Albany: The State University of New York, 1991.
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