- Museum number
Story-telling painting, in gouache of the 'Paithan' type, illustrating a narrative from the Mahabharata. The gods see off Vishvamitra.
On a background of trees and shrubs, two-armed Vishnu carrying a conch and a stick, Śiva, also with a conch, and four-headed Brahma say farewell to Vishvamitra on his way to testing Harishchandra.
- Production date
Height: 28.70 centimetres
Length: 39.90 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The faces of the sage, Vishnu and Shiva are completed, but that of Brahma, the costumes, and background are left unfinished.
This is a complete storytellers’ set of sixty paintings (2007,3014.1 to 60). It depicts the story of king Harishchandra, one of the most popular stories throughout India and narrated in the Mahabharata, in the Markandeya Purana and in the Srimad Devi Bhagavatam. The source of the present narrative is uncertain as it is often retold with a number of variations and additions in numerous local languages. King Harischandra, the hero of this tale, exemplifies moral rectitude. In the usual Paithan manner, this once had another painting attached to the reverse (see 2007,3014.7), which was removed and separately mounted. Paithan paintings were used as part of a story-telling performance, and while entertaining, were also considered to be a form of worship.
- Not on display
- The paintings are executed in opaque watercolour on foolscap size industrial paper. However, about 2.5 cm of the original format has been lost, as most of the leaves, probably badly frayed at the edges by their handling, have been cropped. Furthermore, some of the leaves have been repaired by the storytellers with newspaper bits, and with red masking tape. Fortunately almost nothing of the paintings, except the occasional top of a crown or decorative border, has been obliterated by these restorations.
- Associated titles
Associated Title: Mahabharata
- Acquisition date
- Registration number