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Title

Shiva

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. Here, the Hindu god Shiva appears as Panchanan the Destroyer of Worlds. As with other Kalighat paintings, the composition is based on an archetype where the blue-skinned, five-headed, four-armed god is seated on a throne with a tiger skin wrapped around his waist. His fifth head is turned upwards and is surrounded by protective cobras and a small image of Shiva’s vehicle, Nandi the bull, can be seen seated in his lap.


Details


Other Titles

The five-faced Mahadev

Siva or Punchanan the Destroyer of the world

A five-faced Shiva


Alternative title

Panchanan/Panchamukhashiva


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

43.8 x 27.2 cm (irreg.)


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Purchased 1959


Location

Not on display


Accession number

EP6.1959


Artist information

Kalighat school

Works in the collection

6


Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 6 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, Jun 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.

Haema Sivanesan, Indian painting, 'Indian Painting', verso of poster., Sydney, 2001. cat.no. 5.2

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

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.