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Title

Kamala Kamini nursing a baby elephant

1880-1899


Artist

Kalighat school

India

circa 1830 - 1930


About

Images such as this are known as Kalighat paintings, after the famous Kalighat temple in Kolkata (Calcutta) dedicated to Kali, the fearsome goddess of time and death. From around 1830, distinctive, quickly painted souvenirs were produced
in large numbers for visitors who flocked to the temple. The images were intended to aid domestic worship and typically illustrate Hindu deities. Later, mass-produced prints replaced Kalighat paintings.

Paintings of goddesses were a favourite subject among Khaligat customers and their composition is often similar due to the need to produce pictures quickly and cheaply. Here is a painting of the goddess Kamala Kamini who is said to be an incarnation of the fearsome goddess Durga.Durga is usually depicted slaughtering the buffalo demon, Mahisasura, but here she is seated on a lotus leaf and accompanied by a baby elephant. In some stories, Kamala Kamini, Durga is the mother of Ganesha, while in others the connection between the goddess and the elephant symbolises an
abundance of rain.


Details


Other Title

Kamala Kaminy, a form of the Goddess Durga or Chandi with Ganesh


Place where the work was made

Kalighat Kolkata (Calcutta) West Bengal India


Date

1880-1899


Media categories

Painting , Watercolour


Materials used

watercolour with silver paint on paper


Dimensions

44.2 x 27.2 cm (irreg.)


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Purchased 1959


Location

Not on display


Accession number

EP5.1959


Artist information

Kalighat school

Works in the collection

6


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history


Referenced in 3 publications

Bibliography


Kate Brittlebank, TAASA Review, 'Unexpected Connections: An Australian Kalighat Album Reunited', pg. 4-5, Sydney, Mar 2006.

Kate Brittlebank, TAASA Review, "Postscript: Kalighat's Missionaries', pg. 23, Sydney, Dec 2006.

Kate Brittlebank, Journal of the History of Collections, 'Anthropology, fine art and missionaries: The Berndt Kalighat album rediscovered', pg.127-142, Oxford, May 2008.