Collections: Asian Art: Durga Slaying the Buffalo Demon, Raktabij, and Kali Lapping up the Demon's Blood, Page from a Markandeya Purana Series

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

On View: John I. H. Baur

As head of the Brooklyn Museum’s Department of Painting and Sculpture from 1936 to 1952, Jack Baur oversaw a period of unparalleled gr...

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.

    On View: Rocky Shore

    An important figure in the second generation of Hudson River School painters, Whittredge was a friend and sketching companion of several of ...

     

    Want to add this object to a set? Please join the Posse, or log in.

    close

    Durga Slaying the Buffalo Demon, Raktabij, and Kali Lapping up the Demon's Blood, Page from a Markandeya Purana Series

    • Culture: Indian
    • Medium: Opaque watercolor on paper
    • Place Made: Chamba, Punjab Hills, India
    • Dates: 1800-1825
    • Dimensions: sheet: 11 1/8 x 15 in. (28.3 x 38.1 cm) image: 9 5/8 x 13 1/2 in. (24.5 x 34.3 cm)  (show scale)
    • Collections:Asian Art
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Accession Number: 36.245
    • Credit Line: Gift of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy
    • Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
    • Caption: Indian. Durga Slaying the Buffalo Demon, Raktabij, and Kali Lapping up the Demon's Blood, Page from a Markandeya Purana Series, 1800-1825. Opaque watercolor on paper, sheet: 11 1/8 x 15 in. (28.3 x 38.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, 36.245
    • Image: overall, 36.245_IMLS_SL2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    • Catalogue Description: The combined episodes of Durga's attack on the demon and Kali's lapping up his blood are here presented in one highly energized composition. A great orange-red monster with a human body, bird's claws, buffalo horns, white tusks, and a ferocious expression, is represented at the right. The multi-armed crowned goddess Durga, astride her tiger vehicle, pierces the demon and attacks with her numerous weapons, while the black goddess Kali extends her long tongue to lap up the blood shed by the demon before it touches the ground and coagulates into new asuras (demons). Some of the blood is transformed into numerous tiny Raktabij demons, emerging from the bloodbath who continue the battle. The violent scenes of bloody battle express the dynamic energy of the Goddess. These two episodes are related in the Devi Mahatmya text of the Markandeya Purana, in which the Goddess destroys various forms of demons, but multiple episodes incorporated in the same miniature is unusual. The Bhayanaka rasa, or the terrible sentiment, is predominant in this scene. Depiction of Devi in her frightening form of Kali, engaged in devouring up the blooddrops and tiny demons emerging from them, successfully conveys the sentiment here. This independent page is not associated with any known Devi Mahatmya manuscript from the hills, but is here attributed to Chamba, which was noted for a predominantly red and yellow palette and produced many illustrated Devi Mahatmya manuscripts. One may compare these stylistic characteristics with the more refined versions of this subject in the Devi Mahatmya in Guler, c. 1740-1781 (Aijazuddin 1977: 48). From Accession Card: Rather large and very coarse miniature painting, of Durga slaying the demon Mahisa (the asura Mahisa) with a flock of arrows, an illustration from the Markandeya Purana, a collection of mythological legends. The asura, a huge orange red monster with a human body, birds claws, an animal's white tusks, and a ferocious expression, is represented as rising from the purple emanation coming from the mouth of a demon. This demon, a gaunt female nude save for a dhoti, and with straight hair flying out behind, sits in one corner exhaling this emanation. The asura has a short dhoti and a white sash (kamarband) with yellow flower ends. Bells hang from the sides of the scarf around the waist. He also has armlets (bhuja-band), necklaces (mala) and bracelets (kankana). Close to the edge of the emanation are quantities of tiny asuras, colored the same as the emanation. The devi, astride a tiger, has eight arms. Two are used in shooting the crescent pointed arrow at the asura. The others hold a mace, a spear (sakti), a feather, a sword, a noose (pasa) and a conch (sankha). She has a full red skirt (ghagara) with a blue edge, a purple sash, a short green coli, a pointed crown (mukuta) and a quiver of arrows. She wears necklaces, earrings, armlets and bracelets and has her finger and toe nails dyed henna (mihamda). The background is yellow, save for a few streaks of green to represent the ground. On this are a white bowl and a white feather like the one the Devi is holding. The painting has a red border and is mounted on a slightly larger sheet of paper. Condition: It has been folded once across the center and the crease still shows. The paint is chipped and rubbed in many places and the edges are dog-eared and torn.
    • Record Completeness: Good (73%)
    advanced 107,936 records currently online.

    Separate each tag with a space: painting portrait.

    Or join words together in one tag by using double quotes: "Brooklyn Museum."




    Please review the comment guidelines before posting.

    Before you comment...

    We get a lot of comments, so before you post yours, check to see if your issue is addressed by one of the questions below. Click on a question to see our answer:

    Why are some objects not on view?

    The Museum’s permanent collections are very large and only a fraction of these can be on exhibition at any given time. Sometimes works are lent to other museums for special exhibitions; sometimes they are in the conservation laboratory for study or maintenance. Certain types of objects, such as watercolors, textiles, and photographs, are sensitive to light and begin to fade if they are exposed for too long, so their exhibition time is limited. Finally, as large as the Museum is, there is not enough room to display everything in the collections. In order to present our best works, collections are rotated periodically.

    How do I find out how much an object in the Brooklyn Museum collections is worth?

    The Museum does not disclose the monetary values of objects in its collections.

    Can you tell me the value of an artwork that I own?

    The Museum does not provide monetary appraisals. To determine the value of an object or to find an appraiser, you may contact the Art Dealers Association of America or the American Society of Appraisers.

    I own a similar object. Can you tell me more about it?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you own and as much information about it as you can, and we will provide any additional information we are able to find. Please note that research in our files is a lengthy process, and you may not have a response for some time.

    How would I go about lending or gifting a work to the Museum or seeing if the Museum is interested in purchasing a work that I own?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you would like us to consider, as well as all of the information you have about it, and your offer will be forwarded to the appropriate curator. The Brooklyn Museum collections are very rich, and we have many works that are not currently on exhibition; because of this, and because storage space is limited, we are very selective about adding works. However, the collection has become what it is today through the generosity of the public, and we continue to be grateful for this generosity, which can still lead to exciting new acquisitions.

    How can I get a reproduction of a work in your collection?

    Please see the Museum’s information on Image Services.

    How can I show my work to someone at the Museum or be considered for an exhibition?

    Please see the Museum’s Artist Submission Guidelines.

    Why do many objects not have photographs and/or complete descriptions?

    The Museum's collection is very large, and we are constantly in the process of adding photographs and descriptions to works that do not currently have them, or replacing photographs that have deteriorated beyond use and descriptions that are minimal or out of date. This is a long and expensive process that takes time.

    How can I find a conservator or get advice on how to treat my artwork?

    Please visit the American Institute for Conservation, which has a feature on how to find a conservator.

    I have a comment or question which is not included in this list.

    Join the posse or log in to work with our collections. Your tags, comments and favorites will display with your attribution.