jueves, 19 de mayo de 2011

Her Divine Aura Pervades the Cosmos in Entirety


Her Divine Aura Pervades the Cosmos in Entirety

Availability: Sólo Uno en la acción
Her Divine Aura Pervades the Cosmos in Entirety

Código del Artículo: OR82

Oil on Canvas with 24 Karat Gold

34.5 inches X 48.0 inches 
Precio: Euro 324.00   Envío Gratis - 4 to 6 days 


This large size oil painting represents the eight-armed goddess, the colourfully costumed and profusely bejeweled Durga, leaning on her mount lion. The posture is identical to that of Vrasha-vahana Shiva, one of the most popular forms of Shiva in Shaivite iconography representing him as leaning on his mount Nandi. The bells suspending from the ceiling, the tray of fruits in front, flowers lying scattered before her and the ritual lamps lit around the entrance, all suggest that the image enshrines or has been represented as enshrining a sanctum. Besides the halo around her face, there appear to be radiating rays of light from her person in the form of dark and light stripes alternating each other covering the entire background symbolising that her divine aura pervades the cosmos in entirety. Her form, curved a little on the left aligning with the lion’s mane, not only reveal great aesthetic beauty but also affords pleasant base for her four branching arms.

The iconographic modeling of the face of the goddess has reflection of her face as conceived in Bengal art tradition – rounded and a smaller one in relation to the anatomy of the rest of her figure, eyes with a moderate size but conceived as in meditative trance, well trimmed eye-brows, braids of hair falling in alike manner on both shoulders and above all a circular crown framing her face within it more like a halo around her face. The style of her costume, especially that of wearing sari, is also close to Bengal style. During India’s freedom movement Bengal activists not only equated India, their land, with Durga, their goddess, but also sought her active participation in their action against the British with the result that her images were invariably conceived as standing, a posture revealing readiness to act, and her lion, the symbol of might, formidability and dauntlessness, behind her. Needless to say, this effulgent divine image reproduces the same historical vision of the great goddess.

The right one of her normal two forehands is held in ‘abhaya’, and the left, carrying a lotus – the symbol of life and beauty, in a gesture of giving them protection. This suggests that the primary role of the goddess is to let the life be protected and be free from fear. In her other six hands she has been represented as carrying the instruments of destruction : disc, trident, sword, conch, mace, and bow and arrow. In scriptural tradition the Devi that preceded all gods and the creation manifested three aspects of the cosmos : ferocious, valorous and lovable or beautiful. Subsequently, these aspects were associated with the Devi’s three manifest forms – Kali, Durga and Parvati or Uma, Kali manifesting ferociousness effecting destruction, Durga, valour effecting sustenance, and Parvati, beauty, love and service, representing absolute womanhood. In them Durga’s role was somewhat complicated as for effecting sustenance she was often required to annihilate evil that sought to destroy life and cosmic order, and hence while she held her hands in ‘abhaya’ and in life-protecting posture, in the others she also carried instruments of destruction.

Durga thus synthesized into her being all forms of the Devi, being Kali when she slew demons and sought to eradicate evil but not with her ferocious appearance but rather with the benign look and feminine softness of Parvati being thus also Parvati. Durga thus emerges in the worship tradition as the most popular female divinity, worshipped beyond sectarian lines of Shaivites and Vaishnavites, and the same manifests in this painting. If the goddess is carrying Shiva’s trident, Vishnu’s conch, mace and disc, and Indra’s sword are also her attributes in the painting. In popular worship traditions, such as in Bengal, Kali is often represented in Durga’s effulgent form.

This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books.

South Indian Durga

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South Indian Durga

Código del Artículo: WL69

Water Color Painting On Cotton Fabric

22.0 inches X 33.0 inches

Precio: Euro 72.00   Envío Gratis - 4 to 6 days

Goddess Durga

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Goddess Durga

Código del Artículo: HL64

Water Color Painting on Paper

7.0 inch X 11.5 inch

Precio: Euro 225.00   Envío Gratis - 4 to 6 days

Durga Killing Demon Rakta-bija

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Durga Killing Demon Rakta-bija

Código del Artículo: HK59

Water Color Painting On Paper
Artist: Kailash Raj

9.0 inches X 6.5 inches

Precio: Euro 187.00   Envío Gratis - 4 to 6 days


This miniature, a blend of diverse iconographic models – a conceptual form of Kali, a miniaturized figure of Durga rendered with minute details and complete adherence to her classical ‘Ashtabhujadhari’ iconography, and a large bodied demon with a pair of horns and an animal like tail, a demon’s usual form as it emerges in imagination, an excellent piece of art, portrays the timeless and exceptionally symbolic legend of the demon Rakta-bija whom Durga kills. Rendered pursuing early nineteenth century Pahari art style and an earlier masterpiece as its model, the theme and its spirit in every exactness, this piece of paper comes out with the legend of the annihilation of Rakta-bija, as its focal point without engaging the eye into subsidiary or formal details, especially those comprising the background. It is hence that the artist has conceived an unadorned plain background rendered in turmeric yellow with no form at all.

Various ancient texts have dealt with the legend of Durga killing Rakta-bija. As usual, there are also some variations in their accounts, however, those in Vamana Purana and Devi Bhagavata are more often pursued and considered more authentic. As these texts have it, Rakta-bija was variedly Rambha’s transform, as also the son and the minister of Mahisha, the buffalo demon; hence, the legend of Rakta-bija is entwined with the legend of Mahisha, a descendant of the demon king Danu. Danu had two sons, Rambha and Karambha who were without a son to continue the line. They, hence, decided to appease their Yaksha deity Malavata and obtain from him boons for sons. Rambha set himself amidst five fires, the same amidst which Parvati had accomplished penance for winning Shiva’s love. Karambha entered into deep waters. They thus began meditating upon their deity.

Indra, well aware of their designs, took to the form of a crocodile, dragged Karambha and killed him. After he heard of his brother's sad demise, Rambha too decided to end his life. But before he killed himself, Agni appeared into his vision and asked him not to commit suicide, which was a sin worse than killing others. Agni assured him that he would accomplish anything that he wished if he did not end his life. Hence, instead of choosing death, Rambha asked Agni for giving him a son who should be invincible in all three worlds against all men, all gods, and all demons. Agni granted the boon declaring that with whoever he first fell in love and wedded, she shall bear him the son as he desired.

On his way back, Rambha happened to see a beautiful she-buffalo and fell in love with her. He married her. After some time she conceived. Fearing that other buffalos might kill her, he took her to Patala loka – nether world. However, as destined, one day a buffalo, passionate to unite with Rambha's wife sexually, confronted Rambha and killed him. Rambha's wife, the she-buffalo, too, burnt herself with her husband. However, from the burning pyre, there emerged a figure, half man-half demon, who came to be known as Mahisha – one born of buffalo A transform of Rambha, sometimes claimed as Mahisha’s son and sometimes as Rambha’s mere transform, also emerged from the fire but was now known as Rakta-bija. Rakta-bija later meditated upon Shiva and won from him a boon to the effect that wherever a drop of his blood shall fall, the spot shall send back a Rakta-bija demon, and he shall keep multiplying.

When Durga killed Mahisha, Rakta-bija, along with Mahisha’s ministers Shumbha and Nishumbha and other demons, rose in arms against Durga. Durga in wrath knocked the earth, which each time produced a loud roar and from each roar appeared one of the Sapta-Matrikas : Brahmani riding her swan, Kumari riding her peacock, Vaishnavi riding Garuda, Maheshwari riding bull, Indrani riding Airavata, Narsimhi in her lioness form, and Varahi in boar form. They confronted different demons. Durga herself charged at Rakta-bija and wounded him grievously, but to her astonishment, his blood, as soon as it fell on the earth, reproduced a Rakta-bija demon from it and the number of Rakta-bija demons was only multiplying. Finally, Durga summoned Kali, in her form as Chamunda. She enormously extended her tongue and before a drop of Rakta-bija’s blood fell on the earth and transformed into a Rakta-bija demon, took on it and drank it. She also consumed all duplicate Rakta-bija demons and thus, turned the battle in Durga’s favour, and thus the gods were enormously relieved.

The painting does not include Sapta-Matrikas. Besides innumerable ants-like tiny figures reproduced of Rakta-bija’s blood, the painting portrays just three figures, the horribly massive form of Rakta-bija, lion-riding Ashtabhujadhari Durga carrying in her hands bow, arrow, sword, conch, mace, noose, spear and a multi-bladed trident-type weapon, and Kali with a tongue extended like a vessel huge enough to contain on it Rakta-bija and all forms produced of his blood. For symbolising his links with Mahisha’s buffalo-wife the artist has conceived his form with a pair of horns and a tail. Black-complexioned Kali’s emaciated figure has been conceived with her large pendulous breasts and semi-nude body. The agility with which Durga’s form has been conceived is amazing. She is charging at the demon with all her weapons and force of all hands in simultaneity. As swiftly moving is her mount, and all combined turn the tide in gods’ favour.

This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture. 


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