- Museum number
Gouache painting on paper from a portfolio of sixty-three paintings of deities and daily life. Umamahesvara, Śiva and Pārvatī together, seated on a throne with their shoulders resting against a bolster. Śiva carries a damaru (hourglass shaped drum) and a mriga (gazelle) and performs adhaya mudra. His fourth hand is around Pārvatī’s waist. Pārvatī holds as lotus.
- Production date
- 1820 (circa)
Height: 23.80 centimetres
Height: 29 centimetres
Width: 23.50 centimetres (size of page)
Width: 18.80 centimetres (size of the drawings)
- Curator's comments
- Dallapiccola 2010:
This painting shows Śiva in lalitasana with his green-complexioned consort, Parvati, seated on his left thigh. Śiva carries in his upper right hand a damaru, and in his upper left hand the mriga. His lower right hand is in abhaya mudra and his lower left encircles Parvati's waist. Both deities are sumptuously dressed and bejewelled. The goddess Ganga peeps out of Śiva's dreadlocks. Parvati's forehead is decorated with a crescent shaped red tilaka and in her right hand she carries a lotus.
The portfolio consists of sixty-three paintings on loose sheets of paper. The series includes images of deities, mendicants and ritual scenes such as a wedding and cremation. Executed on European laid and water-marked paper, with the date 1816 appearing on one sheet, the paintings must have been produced in the immediately following years, c. 1820. There is much use of gold paint and brilliant colours, which is still bright, evidence of the portfolio having been kept closed for long periods since its creation.
Within the portfolio, images of Śiva have been consistently mis-identified as Brahma.
- On display (G1/fc23)
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Formerly in the possession of the last owner’s maternal great-uncle, Rupert Richardson-Gardner, who worked in India in the 1930s. However, given the presence of auction room stickers on several of the paintings (one provides the date of the sale – June 15th 1977), it is more likely that the portfolio was acquired by him during his post-war career in Christie’s (he was a specialist in carpets and rugs, but, given his previous career in India, he probably maintained an interest in things Indian which he saw passing through the sale-rooms).
- Registration number