- Museum number
Album drawing. Pen and ink wash on paper. Pārvatī worships a linga. She offers flowers to the image. The linga, set on an ornate pitha, has a face and is decorated with garlands of flowers, its top shaded by the five hoods of a naga.
- Production date
Height: 22.80 centimetres (page)
Width: 19 centimetres (page)
- Curator's comments
- Dallapiccola 2010:
This drawing probably refers to the Mallikarjuna linga, one of the jyotirlingas, enshrined in its own temple on the summit of the Srisailam hill in the Kurnool district in southern Andhra Pradesh. According to one of the many versions of the local legend, the princess Chandravati fell passionately in love with Shiva and offered him a garland of mallika (jasmine) flowers every day. Eventually she became his wife. It is possible that the person worshipping the linga here is Chandravati rather than Parvati.
This album of ninety-nine pen and ink wash drawings is unusual within the British Museum collection as a large proportion (seventy) of its drawings deal with the exploits of Kṛṣṇa. These can be grouped under three headings: the god as naughty child, adolescent hero and lover. The selection of episodes follows, by and large, the narrative of the Bhagavata Purana. A number of scenes, however, are inspired by the oral tradition of the Telugu-speaking area.
Of the remaining twenty-nine drawings, twenty-five illustrate a number of gods, goddesses, mythological incidents and tirthas (place of pilgrimage). The artist or the patron had an eye for unusual murtis: for instance, Vallabhi Vighneshvara (1962,1231,0.12.1), and the five-faced Hanuman (1962,1231,0.12.2) are relatively rare. The last four leaves of the album show architectural drawings, unusual in this type of work.
The artist responsible for this set demonstrates a remarkable control of his medium. His elegant, fluid line and the discreet shading with a pale wash are hallmarks of his style. The technique of indicating three dimensionality using shading may have been introduced by European artists. The majority of the paper is water marked ‘A. Cowen & Sons 1826’, with the last ten sheets watermarked ‘A. Cowen & Sons 1825’.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Transferred from the Department of Oriental Manuscripts and Printed Books (OMPB) in 1962.
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 1168 (Egerton number)