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Exhibitions/ Art Object

Durga Confronts the Buffalo Demon Mahisha: Scene from the Devi Mahatmya

ca. 1780
India (Himachal Pradesh, Guler)
Ink and opaque watercolor on paper
Page: 7 5/8 x 11 9/16 in. (19.4 x 29.4 cm) Image: 5 3/4 x 9 7/8 in. (14.6 x 25.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Cynthia Hazen Polsky, 2005
Accession Number:
Not on view
After witnessing the destruction of his armies, the demon Mahisha in his buffalo form confronts Durga, crushing some of her troops under his hooves. The goddess is shown taking a drink of powerful nectar; the text tells us that she laughs with reddened eyes before entering into combat. While this drawing lacks the final application of colored pigments, it is significant that the preparatory image was brought to such a finished form; especially notable is the volumetric treatment of the buffalo.
Inscription: Abraded devanagari inscriptions on picture surfce, numbering above obscured
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Mother India: The Goddess in Indian Painting," June 29, 2011–November 27, 2011.

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