The horizontal format of this sacred text is derived from the earlier use of palm leaves instead of paper. This page is from the foundational work of scripture for worshippers of the great goddess Devi.
In her warrior aspect, or incarnation, Devi is multiarmed, rides a lion, and conquers demons more powerful than all the male gods. The demon holding a mountain above his head as a missile is dressed in the Central Asian belted tunic and pants of the Mughals, who ruled most of India at the time this painting was made. Devi wears the Mughal women’s style of tall flat-topped feathered headdress, and she holds a bottle and cup of liquor. Aside from these Mughal elements, the style remains staunchly indigenous, with unmodeled figures in strict profile against a flat red ground.
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