Details
IMAGE number
PHL450961
Title
The Great Goddess Durga Slaying the Buffalo Demon (Mahishasuramardini), c.1750 (opaque w/c & gold- & silver-colored metallic paint on paper)
Artist
Indian School, (18th century) / Indian
Location
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania, PA, USA
Medium
opaque watercolor and gold- and silver-colored metallic paint on paper
Dimensions
27.1 x 31.4 cms
Description
Made in Kota, Rajasthan, India. The most common image of a buffalo (mahisha in Sanskrit) is Mahishasura, the buffalo demon. Son of a buffalo, Mahishasura gained power over the world and plunged it into chaos. To destroy him, the gods pooled their energies to create the great goddess Durga. Here the many-armed Durga leaps from her feline vehicle and slices through the buffalo's neck, from which the green, horned demon emerges in human form. The water buffalo is thought to embody ignorance, laziness, and pollution; it is associated with blood and is the vahana (vehicle) of Yama, God of Death. Although domestic water buffalo have long provided milk, agricultural power, and meat across India, ancient texts describe them as a nondomesticated species, representing the chaos of wilderness--and thus the absence of cosmic order.
Photo credit
© Philadelphia Museum of Art / Stella Kramrisch Collection, 1994 / Bridgeman Images
Keywords
18th century / XVIIIth century / XVIII / C18th / eighteenth century / secolo XVIII / 18 18th xviii xviiith century / 18 18th 18th 18th 18th 18th century / sword / river / lion / spear / indian / slaying / killing / goddess / stabbing / hunting / demon / shield / water buffalo / durga
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Dimension [pixels] Dimension in 300dpi [mm] File size [MB] Online Purchase
Large 3008 × 2631 px 255 × 223 mm 7 MB
Medium 1024 × 896 px 87 × 76 mm 1 MB
Copyright
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