Kartikeya

Kartikeya

c. 1890

Watercolor, graphite, ink, and tin on paper

Secondary Support: 47.8 x 29.1 cm (18 13/16 x 11 7/16 in.); Painting only: 45.8 x 28.2 cm (18 1/16 x 11 1/8 in.)

Gift of William E. Ward in memory of his wife, Evelyn Svec Ward 2003.151

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Description

Here Kartikeya, god of war and son of Shiva and Parvati, born to annihilate the demon Taraka, is provocatively depicted as a dandy. Sitting astride his vehicle, the peacock, Kartikeya has a Prince Albert hairstyle and buckled European shoes. Fashionably draping his shawl, Karitkeya’s backdrop is a halo created by the peacock’s tail. The painting integrates prevailing Bengali social mores with traditional images and themes.

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