The Goddess Bhairavi Devi with Shiva

Attributed to Payag Indian

Not on view

In this painting, attributed to the Mughal artist Payag, a demonic form of the Hindu goddess Bhairavi, female counterpart to Shiva, sits on the body of a decomposing corpse. Wearing jewelry and a skirt made of skulls, and horns in the form of spear heads, she is accompanied by Shiva who appears in the form of a devotee. Three of her hands carry symbols of destruction, while her fourth extends a gesture of blessing. The borders, executed in gold monochrome, form a continuation of the desolate landscape in the painting itself. The inscription above the image, written in Devanagari script, identifies the figure as Bhairavi.

The Goddess Bhairavi Devi with Shiva, Attributed to Payag (Indian, active ca. 1591–1658), Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

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