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An image of A five-faced Shiva by Kalighat school

Kalighat school

(India circa 1830 – 1930)

A five-faced Shiva
Other titles:
The five-faced Mahadev
Siva or Punchanan the Destroyer of the world
Alternative title:
Place of origin
KalighatKolkata (Calcutta)West BengalIndia
British Raj 1858 - 1947 → India
late 19th century
Media categories
Painting, Watercolour
Materials used
watercolour with silver paint on paper

43.8 x 27.2 cm (irreg.)

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Purchased 1959
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

This painting of Shiva is of special interest as the composition and stylisation are particularly imaginative and skilful. The great god Shiva is depicted with four arms, five faces and seven eyes, the multiplicity of eyes alluding to the deity's omniscience.

The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.48.

Bibliography (3)

Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Folk Paintings and Souvenir Pictures', Sydney, 2003, 48-49 (colour illus.). The colour illus. on page 49 is a detail of this work.

Haema Sivanesan, Indian painting, 'Indian Painting', verso of poster., Sydney, 2001. 5.2

Jill Sykes, Look, 'Artworks from India under the British Raj...', pg.30, Newtown, Jul 2010, 30 (colour illus.).

Exhibition history (3)

Unknown, David Jones Gallery 1959, David Jones' Art Gallery, Sydney, Sydney, Jul 1959–Jul 1959

Indian Painting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Apr 2001–11 Jun 2001

Indian Folk Paintings and Textiles, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 29 May 2004–04 Jul 2004