The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of July 24, 2016

Durga Killing the Demon Mahisha, 1800s

Black ink, watercolor, and tin paint on paper, Secondary Support: 50.50 x 32.00 cm (19 7/8 x 12 9/16 inches); Painting only: 45.80 x 28.30 cm (18 x 11 1/8 inches). Gift of William E. Ward in memory of his wife, Evelyn Svec Ward 2003.103

Believed to be a manifestation of the Great Goddess, the goddess Durga is portrayed here killing Mahisha, a demon in buffalo form. As described in the Devimahatmya (Glorification of the Great Goddess), Mahisha had defeated the gods in heaven. At their request Vishnu, Shiva, and Brahma created Durga to defeat him. Durga is depicted here on her vehicle (vahana), the lion, with a sword in her right hand and left foot pressed upon Mahisha’s throat, her face ruddy with intoxication and anticipation, poised to kill him.

Cleveland Museum of Art, (5/1/11-9/18/11); "Indian Kalighat Paintings" Main Gallery Rotation (Gallery 242B): April 6, 2016 -

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