Mar 12, 2014

Vaishnava Devotee with Two Women

Vaishnava Devotee with Two Women

c. 1890

Watercolor, graphite, ink, and tin on paper

Painting only: 45.4 x 27.8 cm (17 7/8 x 10 15/16 in.)

Gift of William E. Ward in memory of his wife, Evelyn Svec Ward 2003.101



Here a devotee of Vishnu is wearing shoes and is depicted with some irony as being a fashionable devotee, or perhaps merely posing as orthodox. Kalighat artists often targeted hypocritical Vaishnava mendicants whose intentions with unsuspecting women were far from innocent. On his forehead one finds sectarian marks worn by worshippers of Vishnu. The man’s right hand and one of the women’s left hands, both held aloft, are colored red, possibly to indicate that they were adorned with henna.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email