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


Shiva and his family



Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Punjab Hills India
    Cultural origin
    Kangra or Garhwal
    Media categories
    Miniature , Painting , Watercolour
    Materials used
    opaque watercolour on paper
    26.0 x 19.2 cm
    Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Dr Nigel and Mrs Norma Hawkins 2010
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    Scenes of the deities and their families engaged in ordinary pleasures were popular in Punjab painting in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Here the great Hindu god Shiva and his family enjoy time beside a river on Mount Kailash. Shiva, sitting on a leopard skin, moves to the music played by his consort Parvati (Uma) and sons, the elephant-headed Ganesha and six-faced Skanda (Karttikeya). Nandi, Shiva’s
    bull vehicle ('vahana') rests beside them. Also present is Ganesha’s 'vahana', the rat, while Skanda’s peacock can be seen perched in the tree. Shiva’s dishevelled hair, which indicates his ascetic lifestyle, holds a tiny image of the river goddess Ganga.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

    • One hundred flowers (2011), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 01 Sep 2011–15 Jan 2012

    • Glorious, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 May 2017–06 Jan 2019

    • Elemental, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 30 Jul 2022–2024

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

    • Jill Sykes (Editor), Look, 'Love in India' byJackie Menzies, pg.12-13, Sydney, Oct 2014, 13(colour illus.).

  • Provenance

    Dr Nigel and Mrs Norma Hawkins, pre Feb 2010, Australia, gift to the Art Gallery of New South Wales by Dr Nigel and Mrs Norma Hawkins, Australia, 2010.