Mar 17, 2014

Kartikeya, from a Kalighat album

Kartikeya, from a Kalighat album

c. 1890

Gum tempera, 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



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.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. 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.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.