- Museum number
Opaque watercolour painting of the temple of Shri Jambukeshvara and Akhilandeshvari on Srirangam island. Shri Jambukeshvara is one of the five South Indian temples enshrining an ‘elemental linga’, here the Appu linga, or water linga. The linga is in the innermost part of the temple, at the foot of the sacred jambu tree. The linga is sumptuously garlanded. Adjacent to the main shrine is that of the goddess Akhilandeshvari, surrounded by a maze of corridors and seven smaller shrines. The green-complexioned goddess stands in samabhanga with a floral sceptre in her right hand while her left hangs loose at her side. The complex has five gopuras (gateways), all aligned along the central axis. Two shrines dedicated to Gaṇeśa are prominently shown gracing the back enclosure wall. At the bottom of the page two diminutive ceremonial chariots are parked among palm trees. At the top of the page, in the middle of a palm grove, are two further shrines, one of which contains a garlanded linga.
- Production date
- 1830 (circa)
Height: 22.60 centimetres
Width: 17.60 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Dallapiccola 2010:
This painting is part of an album of ninety-one paintings (1962,1231,0.13.1–91) illustrating gods, goddesses, saints and scenes from Hindu mythology. One of the most interesting features of the album are the eight major temple sites included: Srirangam, Tiruvallur, Rameswaram, Tirunelveli, Palani, Madurai, Thiruvanaikoil (Tiruvanaikka or Jambukeshvara) and Tiruchchirappalli. Furthermore, included in this series are some of the most important murtis enshrined in temples such as Venkatachalapati of Tirumala, Vitthala of Pandharpur and Thyagarajasvami of Tiruvarur. The geographical area covered by the paintings encompasses the totality of the former Madras Presidency and extends into the former Bombay Presidency, giving an insight into the most revered pilgrimage sites in early nineteenth-century southern India.
The drawings were first done in pencil, traces of which are still visible. In the course of his work the artist has sometimes changed his mind, as for instance in the positioning of the arms and feet of the figures. Slight shading has been consistently applied to the faces, arms and legs of the figures to suggest three-dimensionality. The vibrant colours and the delicacy of the drawings make the figures stand out from the pages.
The pages are numbered in reverse order from the back, on paper water marked ‘1820’. Occasionally, a brief note is pencilled in English, probably by a British Museum curator, at the back of some of the temple depictions. An almost identical work, albeit containing a hundred drawings, each with bilingual inscriptions in Telugu and English, is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (IM 355-1923 to 454-1923). The sequence of the images is similar to that in this album.
- On display (G33/dc66b/s3)
- Exhibition history
This page - BM, Gallery 33, Dec 2018 - Dec 2019
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Transferred from the Department of Oriental Manuscripts and Printed Books (OMPB) in 1962.
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 1167 (Egerton number)
Miscellaneous number: 1176 (Egerton number)