Skip Navigation

Devotions to Nagadevata

Asian Art

This unusual painting shows a group of individuals—human, divine, and semi-divine—worshipping a snake deity, or naga (with multiple cobra heads), in a temple setting. Indians of various religious affiliations have worshipped snakes since ancient times: poisonous, but helpful because they eat rodents, serpents are thought to have close ties to the earth and the underworld and are therefore believed to deserve reverence. The multi-headed, white-skinned figure at the left is the Hindu god Shiva. The horse-headed musician at the right is a kinnara, or celestial entertainer. The snake-god’s two wives, with human bodies and snake tails, appear at the right.
MEDIUM Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
  • Place Made: Rajasthan, India
  • DATES ca. 1790
    DIMENSIONS sheet: 11 3/16 x 8 1/16 in. (28.4 x 20.5 cm) image: 8 1/8 x 5 1/4 in. (20.6 x 13.3 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CREDIT LINE Anonymous gift
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
    This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement. You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact (charges apply). The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act. The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals. For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
    CAPTION Indian. Devotions to Nagadevata, ca. 1790. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper, sheet: 11 3/16 x 8 1/16 in. (28.4 x 20.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Anonymous gift, 79.186.2 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 79.186.2_IMLS_PS4.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 79.186.2_IMLS_PS4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.