We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Jagannatha, Balabhadra and Subhadra

circa 1880


Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Puri Orissa India
    circa 1880
    Media category
    Materials used
    gouache on paper with varnish over
    25.6 x 27.7 cm image (irreg.)
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Gift of Barbara Beiboer-Allen 2000
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    This painting depicts a Hindu trinity of gods: Jagannatha, a manifestation of the god Vishnu; his brother, Balabhadra, a manifestation of the god Shiva; and his sister Subhadra, a manifestation of Durga or the goddess. The chief centre of worship of these deities is in Puri, Orissa where a large temple complex is dedicated to the worship of these deities.

    Jagannatha, the principle deity of this trinity, is regarded by his worshippers as the "Lord of the World". According to the mythology Vishnu directed the King Indradyumna to make an image of Jagannatha. The King commissioned Vishvakarman, the architect of the gods, to undertake the making of the image. Vishvarkarman agreed on the condition that he could work undisturbed until it was finished. But after several days the King could no longer contain his curiosity, and thus the image was never finished.

    Images such as this work, were created as pilgrim paintings, and were bought by worshippers as a souvenir of their visit to the temple.

    Asian Art Department, AGNSW, August 2000

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition