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Gum tempera and lampblack on palm leaf
Leaf: 5.1 x 41 cm (2 x 16 1/8 in.)
Purchase and partial gift from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection; Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2018.175.b
There is a three-legged yogi.
At left is a multicolored mountain, labeled by an inscription in the local language of Oriya as a “cave on Kailash,” the Himalayan abode of the god Shiva and his wife Parvati. The cave with its bed and bolsters is empty, but the god is returning home on his bull, Nandi. The wilderness is indicated by the variety of trees, birds, and spotted deer.
This illustrated leaf is from a book that would have been stacked and bound by a string through the hole in the center. The lines were etched with a stylus into the palm leaf. Black soot from butter lamps was rubbed over the page and wiped off, leaving only the grooves black. Afterward, artists added color using a brush.
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